Wireless sensor networks with a large number of cheap low-power interconnected devices bring up challenging tasks when considering the security of their communications. In our previous work, we presented two approaches for the design of dynamic protocols for link key (re-)establishment in ad hoc networks, using two elements studied earlier-secrecy amplification and key extraction from radio channel fading. The goal of this article is to provide a unified approach to the design of these protocols, together with their experimental verification, in a real network with various settings. The overall results of our experiments show that our dynamic combination of secrecy amplification and key extraction from radio channel fading saves a significant portion of messages with corresponding energy expenditure and can adapt to a much wider scale of environments when compared to previous solutions based on the exploitation of the individual elements of secrecy amplification and key extraction from radio channel fading.
Keywords: adaptive; autonomous; cryptography; distributed; protocol; security; wireless radio communication.