Title: Key management in ad hoc networks using self-certified public key system

Authors: Fagen Li, Xiangjun Xin, Yupu Hu

Addresses: Key Laboratory of Computer Networks and Information Security, Xidian University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710071, PR China. ' Department of Information and Computing Science, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry, Zhengzhou, Henan 450002, PR China. ' Key Laboratory of Computer Networks and Information Security, Xidian University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710071, PR China

Abstract: As various applications of ad hoc network have been proposed, security issues have become a central concern and are increasingly important. In this paper, we propose a distributed key management approach by using the self-certified public key system and threshold secret sharing schemes. Without any assumption of prefixed trust relationship between nodes, the ad hoc network works in a self-organising way to provide the key generation and key management services using threshold secret sharing schemes, which effectively solves the problem of single point of failure. The using of self-certified public key system has the following advantages: (1) the storage space and the communication overheads can be reduced in that the certificate is unnecessary; (2) the computational costs can be decreased since it requires no public key verification; (3) there is no key escrow problem since the Certificate Authority (CA) does not know the users| private keys. As compared with the previous works, which were implemented with the certificate-based public key system and identity-based (ID-based) public key system, the proposed approach is more secure and efficient.

Keywords: ad hoc networks; network security; key management; self-certified public key systems; mobile communications; threshold secret sharing; self-organisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2007.011491

International Journal of Mobile Communications, 2007 Vol.5 No.1, pp.94 - 106

Published online: 01 Dec 2006 *

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