Toward secure key distribution in truly ad-hoc networks

TitleToward secure key distribution in truly ad-hoc networks
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsKhalili A, Katz J, Arbaugh WA
Conference NameApplications and the Internet Workshops, 2003. Proceedings. 2003 Symposium on
Date Published2003/01//
Keywordsad, ad-hoc, cryptography;, distribution;, hoc, identity-based, key, mobile, network, networks;, routing;, secure, security;, Telecommunication, threshold, wireless

Ad-hoc networks - and in particular wireless mobile ad-hoc networks $have unique characteristics and constraints that make traditional cryptographic mechanisms and assumptions inappropriate. In particular it may not be warranted to assume pre-existing shared secrets between members of the network or the presence of a common PKI. Thus, the issue of key distribution in ad-hoc networks represents an important problem. Unfortunately, this issue has been largely ignored; as an example, most protocols for secure ad-hoc routing assume that key distribution has already taken place. Traditional key distribution schemes either do not apply in an ad-hoc scenario or are not efficient enough for small, resource-constrained devices. We propose to combine efficient techniques from identity-based (ID-based) and threshold cryptography to provide a mechanism that enables flexible and efficient key distribution while respecting the constraints of ad-hoc networks. We also discuss the available mechanisms and their suitability for the proposed task.