A Storage-efficient Key Management Scheme for Ad-hoc Networks

H. You and M. Lu (USA)


Key management, Ad hoc networks, Security


For many applications of fully self-organized ad hoc networks, to jointly complete a job, all nodes in the network need to authenticate each other without the help of centralized authorities. So, it is very important and challenging to build a key management scheme that can provide guaranteed authentication in an efficient way. In this paper, we propose a key management scheme for the above ad hoc network in which through limited out-of-bound authentication (i.e. each node can only authenticate a subset of nodes), all the authenticated trust relationship composes of a strongly connected trust relationship graph. For the first time, we utilize the property of strongly-connected-components for ad hoc networks by designing a leader election algorithm and a distributed shortest-path algorithm. Based on these two algorithms, we propose a key management scheme which is simple, efficient and authentication guaranteed. This paper also explores algorithms that deal with the addition and revocation of certificates, which makes our scheme scalable to the network growth and improves the authentication success ratio.

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