Lightweight Cryptography for Resource Constrained IoT devices

  • Vishal Thakor

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


IoT is becoming more common and popular due to its wide range of applications in various domains. They collect data from the real environment and transfer it over the networks. While deploying IoT in the real world, there are many challenges, varying from tiny sensors to servers. Since most IoT devices are physically accessible in the real world, security is considered the number one challenge in IoT deployments. Moreover, many of them are limited in resources such as energy, memory, processing power and even physical space, where implanting traditional security options is challenging. This research focuses on resource-constrained IoT devices such as RFID tags, sensors, smart cards, etc., as it is challenging to secure them in a real environment. The communication
from such devices can be secured using lightweight cryptography, a lighter version of cryptography. To give a holistic view of lightweight cryptography, existing lightweight cryptography algorithms are studied and compared in terms of implementation cost, hardware and software performances, and finally, in terms of cryptanalysis to identify the research gaps. A trade-off between cost, performance and security is missing in the existing list of lightweight cryptography algorithms. This creates a demand for new research to carry on
and further inspires to development of a new LWC algorithm. The research study proposes a novel LWC algorithm, named AUM, specially designed for small messages in resource-constrained IoT devices. It offers unique features such as a robust 5-Bit S-Box structure using chaotic mapping theory and lightweight permutation through the 2D array transpose technique. Moreover, the research proposes a lightweight approach to generate distinct subkeys from the original key provided by the user. The resulting cost and performance values are evaluated on popular ASIC platforms and compared with 4-bit and 5-bit competitors. Also, the attack resistance property of the proposed model is analysed over various measured such as bijective property, nonlinearity, linearity (LP), differential probability (cryptanalysis), degree of avalanche effect, bit Independence criteria (BIC) and algebraic attacks and compared with its competitors (4-bit and 5-bit) S-boxes. The test results prove the efficiency of the proposed LWC algorithm, AUM, and show how it maintains the trade-off between cost, performance and security.
Date of Award1 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorMohammad Abdur Razzaque (Supervisor)

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