Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Robert D Kent

Second Advisor

Akshai A Aggarwal

Keywords

ad-hoc network, cryptography, security

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Concept of Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETs) was brought up a few decades ago with assumed prosperous future. Unfortunately, we do not see many practical applications of them in real life. Security of MANETs is a big concern considered by investors and industries, and hinders them from putting MANETs into application. Requirements of security, and difficulties to meet these requirements have been stated clearly already; yet solutions to these difficulties are not quite clear. Cryptographic technologies seem to be capable of satisfying most of the requirements, which has been proved in Internet or wired networks. However, most of the technologies, including symmetric and traditional asymmetric cryptography (such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)), are inapplicable or inconvenient to use inMANETs context. Identity-based Cryptography (IBC), as a special form of asymmetric cryptography, carries many features interesting for MANETs. IBC has been studied a lot recently by researchers of MANET security, and many applications have been proposed and claimed to address this difficult problem. However, it is still the case that most of the solutions are not sound enough to be used in a practical MANET. This thesis starts with an intensive survey on the proposals of applications of IBC in MANETs, and points out the issues, limitations and weaknesses in these proposals and also in IBC itself. The thesis proposes a novel framework with key management and secure routing scheme integrated aiming to address these issues. This scheme brings these contributions: compared to symmetric key solutions, it has more functionality derived from asymmetric keys, and is more secure due to using 1-to-m broadcasting key instead of only 1 group broadcasting key, and has less keys to store per node due to using asymmetric keys instead of pairwise symmetric keys; compared to traditional asymmetric cryptography solutions, the storage and communication requirements are lower due to IBC properties; compared to previous IBC solutions, it has no key management and secure routing interdependency cycle problem. Security of the proposed scheme is proved and performance of the scheme is simulated and analyzed in the thesis. To the end of a complete solution for an arbitraryMANET running in an arbitrary environment, the thesis proposes enhancements to counter various attacks and options to abate or eliminate limitations and weaknesses of IBC. The proposed scheme has a wide range of applicability for various MANETs with little or no administrative overhead depending on situations where it is considered.

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