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Computer Science Department

A One-Time Pad Implementation for Wireless Sensor Networks

Pete Terlep

One-time pad encryption was made popular by Cold War KGB agents and has been employed intermittently ever since between governments. One-time pads are famously (or infamously) noted as one of the only, if not the only, information-theoretically secure methods of encryption. given a few requirements are met: 1) the one-time pad must be truly random, 2) contain no information about the ciphertext being sent, 3) pads are destroyed after use, 4) never reused, 5) and of equal or greater complexity of the plaintext. Although one-time pad security is often a footnote alongside other classical ciphers of yesteryear, it is sometimes still valued in applications where information security is of utmost importance, a low or pre-defined amount of data is being exchanged, and a limited number of parties are using the pad. Here I demonstrate a modern one-time pad implementation for use on pairs of networked sensor devices that allows for two-way TCP like communication where incoming messages can be displayed on an offline console or directly on the device using flashing sequences of LEDs that correspond to UTF-8 output.