Bootstrapping and Security

When light switches were physically inserted into the wiring that delivered electrical power to a specific light, each of them had a very physical relationship with the circuit it was controlling. There never was a need to configure, or commission a physical light switch –commissioning. Obviously, this no longer works for wireless light switches. A 6LoWPAN light switch that has lost its memory when it receives a new battery has to (not necessarily in this order):

  • find the LoWPAN it is going to be part of;
  • establish networking parameters such as the IP address prefix and its own IPv6 address;
  • establish security associations with the relevant entities in the network;
  • build paths out of the node to the relevant entities, maintain those paths and possibly start forwarding for other nodes in the network;
  • establish application layer parameterssuch as who is interested in when the light switch is operated;
  • establish security associations with the relevant entities at the application layer;
  • start the application layer protocol, e.g. by making known the current position of the switch.

Some of this establishment of state has to be repeated dynamically over small timescales, such as the selection of the router to be used and the routing paths used for any forwarding. The selection of routing paths is done using a routing protocol, see 4.2, which may also assist nodes in the selection of routers. Other parameters are less dynamic. Their setup can be structured into ...

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