Mobility Helps Peer-to-Peer Security

Srdjan Capkun, Jean-Pierre Hubaux, Levente Buttyan

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    We propose a straightforward technique to provide peer-to-peer security in mobile networks. We show that far from being a hurdle, mobility can be exploited to set up security associations among users. We leverage on the temporary vicinity of users, during which appropriate cryptographic protocols are run. We illustrate the operation of the solution in two scenarios, both in the framework of mobile ad hoc networks. In the first scenario, we assume the presence of an offline certification authority and we show how mobility helps to set up security associations for secure routing; in this case, the security protocol runs over one-hop radio links. We further show that mobility can be used for the periodic renewal of vital security information (e.g., the distribution of hash chain/Merkle tree roots). In the second scenario, we consider fully self-organized security: Users authenticate each other by visual contact and by the activation of an appropriate secure side channel of their personal device; we show that the process can be fuelled by taking advantage of trusted acquaintances. We then show that the proposed solution is generic: It can be deployed on any mobile network and it can be implemented either with symmetric or with asymmetric cryptography. We provide a performance analysis by studying the behavior of the solution in various scenarios.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalI E E E Transactions on Mobile Computing
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)43-51
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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    Copyright: 2006 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE

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