Enhancing Key Management in LoRaWAN with Permissioned Blockchain

Sensors (Basel). 2020 May 29;20(11):3068. doi: 10.3390/s20113068.


Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) is one of the enabling technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT), and focuses on providing long distance connectivity for a vast amount of smart devices. Currently, LoRa is one of the leading LPWAN solutions available for public use. In LPWANs, especially in LoRa, security is a major concern due to the resource constraints of the devices, the sensitivity level of the transmitted data, the large amount of connected devices, among other reasons. This paper studies the key management mechanism of LoRaWAN environments. A secure architecture for key management based on smart contracts and permissioned blockchain to enhance security and availability in LoRaWAN networks is proposed. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed blockchain-based LoRaWAN architecture, a working prototype has been created using open-source tools and commodity hardware. Performance analysis shows that the prototype presents similar execution time and latency values, when compared to a traditional system, especially for small and medium-sized LoRaWAN networks. We also discuss why the proposed solution can be used in environments with a large number of end-devices.

Keywords: Internet of things; LoRawan; blockchain; hyperledger; low-power wide area network; security.