Title: Preventing or utilising key escrow in identity-based schemes employed in mobile ad hoc networks

Authors: Katrin Hoeper, Guang Gong

Addresses: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada. ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada

Abstract: Recently, Identity-Based Cryptography (IBC) schemes have been considered as a tool to secure Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) due to the efficient key management of the schemes. In this work, we focus on the role of the Key Generation Centre (KGC) as a key escrow, a property that is inherent to all IBC schemes. We explore the special role of key escrow in MANETs and show that this role significantly differs from key escrows in other networks. We introduce two adversary models for dishonest KGCs in MANETs, including a new spy model where a KGC uses so-called spy nodes that record communications in the network and report them to the KGC. We discuss the two faces of key escrow in MANETs, where our analytical results show that in many MANET applications the KGC can be prevented from being a key escrow. On the other hand, the results of this paper illustrate how a KGC can utilise spy nodes to monitor nodes in a MANET, as needed in some applications.

Keywords: ad hoc networks; security; identity-based cryptography; key escrow; communication security; mobile networks; MANETs; key management; spy nodes; key generation centres; node monitoring.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2007.013177

International Journal of Security and Networks, 2007 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.239 - 250

Available online: 11 Apr 2007 *

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