IEEE 802.15.6

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The IEEE 802.15.6 standard is the latest international standard for Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN).

WBAN supports a variety of real-time health monitoring and consumer electronics applications. The latest international standard for WBAN is the IEEE 802.15.6 standard which aims to provide an international standard for low power, short range, and extremely reliable wireless communication within the surrounding area of the human body, supporting a vast range of data rates for different applications. Short-range, wireless communications in the vicinity of, or inside, a human body (but not limited to humans) are specified in this standard. It uses existing industrial scientific medical (ISM) bands as well as frequency bands approved by national medical and/or regulatory authorities. Support for quality of service (QoS), extremely low power, and data rates up to 10 Mbps is required while simultaneously complying with strict non-interference guidelines where needed. This standard considers effects on portable antennas due to the presence of a person (varying with male, female, skinny, heavy, etc.), radiation pattern shaping to minimize the specific absorption rate (SAR) into the body, and changes in characteristics as a result of the user motions.[1]


The IEEE 802.15.6 standard aims to provide the confidentiality, authentication, integrity, privacy protection, and replay defense. All nodes and hubs must choose three security levels: unsecured communication (level 0), authentication but no encryption (level 1), and authentication and encryption (level 2). During the security association process, a node and a hub need to jointly select a suitable security level. In unicast communication, a pre-shared or a new MK is activated. A Pairwise Temporal Key (PTK) is then generated that is used only once per session. In multicast communication, a Group Temporal Key (GTK) is generated that is shared with the corresponding group. All nodes and hubs in a WBAN have to go through certain stages at the MAC layer before data exchange. A security association is a procedure to identify a node and a hub to each other, to establish a new Master Key (MK) shared between them, or to activate an existing MK pre-shared between them. The security association in the IEEE 802.15.6 standard is based on four key agreement protocols that have security problems.[2]

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