Secure real time freight tracking systems for radioactive sources

  • Mouza Ahmed Rashed Bani Shemaili

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Mouza Ahmed Bani Shemaili. “Secure Real Time Freight Tracking System for Radioactive Sources ", PhD by Research, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, United Arab Emirates, April 2015. Radioactive applications are employed in many aspects of our life such as industry, medicine and agriculture. These applications give rise to some serious harm on people lives which emphasize the awareness of the importance of building safety and security measures when dealing with such materials. Criminals can use radioactive sources in criminal activities such as creating a dirty bomb. Hence, one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed is the security of the movement of the radioactive sources. There is a huge threat that may occur during the transportation of the radioactive sources from one place to another. This thesis focuses on the security parts of the transportation of the radioactive sources. Thus, it tries to build a secure smart real time freight tracking system in which the radioactive source can be under inspection and control all the time during its transportation from the supplier to the end user. The real time tracking system can be achieved by combining some technologies from the Real Time Location Systems (RTLSs), such as GPS, RFID, and so on, while the system environment sensing can be achieved using Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) that can add sensing ability to the moving radioactive sources. However, combining all of these technologies can also give rise to some security issues that the system needs to deal with. Thus, this thesis tries to evaluate the radioactive transportation environment and analyze the security threats that may occur. Then the thesis proposes some suitable security solutions that can secure the transportation of the radioactive sources form the provider to the destination using two contributions which are a stream cipher to encrypt the communication and a mutual authentication protocol. The security algorithm was also tested using NIST statistical test and implemented on 8 bit AVR micro-controller as a proof of concept. Besides, the mutual authentication protocol used to secure the communication was verified using the verification formal method tool called Scyther and the protocol pass all the claims. A simulation of the system was implemented in Java in order to implement the proposed security solutions.
Date of Award2015
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorChan Yeun (Supervisor)


  • Real Time Freight Tracking System
  • Wireless Sensor
  • Security
  • Stream Cipher
  • Mutual Authentication
  • E-Seal

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