John S. Baras


Energy-efficient Source Authentication for Secure Group Communication with Low-Powered Smart Devices in Hybrid Wireless/Satellite Networks

A. Roy-Chowdhury and J. S. Baras

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking Special Issue on Security and Resilience for Smart Devices and Applications, vol. 2011, Article ID 392529, 18 pages, 2011. Dol:10.1155/2011/392529.

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In this paper, we describe a new class of lightweight, symmetric-key digital certificates and a source authentication protocol for group communication in wireless networks that is based on the certificate. The certificate, called the extended TESLA certificate, binds the identity of a wireless smart device to the anchor element of its key chain; messages sent by the device are authenticated by message authentication codes (MACs) computed with keys from the chain. The source authentication protocol requires the presence of a centralized infrastructure in the network - we describe the protocol in a hybrid wireless network with a satellite overlay that interconnects the terrestrial wireless devices. The satellite is used as the Certificate Authority to generate the certificates. The satellite also acts as the proxy for the sender devices in disclosing the MAC keys to the receivers in the network. Due to the use of symmetric MAC functions, the proposed protocol is much less expensive in terms of the processing power and energy of the smart devices, compared to digital signatures. The use of the satellite as the Certificate Authority and proxy allows strong security mechanisms and fast message verification. We also describe a probabilistic nonrepudiation mechanism associated with the source authentication protocol that makes use of the satellite’s role as the Certificate Authority and sender proxy. Through analysis, we show that the source authentication protocol is secure against malicious adversaries. We present detailed simulation results that demonstrate the improvements obtained by the protocol for processing delay, storage requirements and energy consumption of the smart devices, in comparison to traditional public key-based source authentication technologies.

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