Blockchain-based Secure Time Protection Scheme in IoT

Kai Fan, Shangyang Wang, Yanhui Ren, Kan Yang, Zheng Yan, Hui Li, Yintang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Internet of Things (IoT) has been developed rapidly to make our life easier. In many IoT applications (e.g., smart homes, healthcare, etc.), all the IoT devices should be synchronized in time. However, some malicious nodes located in the IoT network can influence the time synchronization, which may interrupt the IoT system and lead to serious accidents. Therefore, it is critical and challenging to guarantee the accuracy and consistency of time during the time synchronization among all the IoT devices. In this paper, we propose a blockchain-based scheme to assure the security during time synchronization in IoT. Specifically, a publicly verifiable ledger is utilized to record and broadcast time, which can minimize many attacks from external environments. The use of multiple time sources can avoid the vulnerabilities caused by the centralized generation of accurate time. Moreover, the decentralized structure of this scheme has the advantage of adapting the changes of network topology. By employing an improved Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) consensus mechanism, time synchronization can be implemented efficiently. At last, the analysis results show that our proposed scheme can achieve the desired security with high efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8482304
Pages (from-to)4671-4679
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Blockchain
  • Internet of Things
  • Protocols
  • Robustness
  • Security.
  • Synchronization
  • Time Synchronization


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