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Design and evaluation of a security architecture for ad hoc networks

Daniel Kraft (Institute of Telematics, Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Marc Bechler (Institute of Operating Systems and Computer Networks, Technical University of Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany)
Hans‐Joachim Hof (Institute of Telematics, Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Frank Pählke (Institute of Telematics, Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Lars Wolf (Institute of Operating Systems and Computer Networks, Technical University of Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Article publication date: 20 November 2009

Abstract

Purpose

Secure communication is very important for computer networks. Thereby, authentication is one of the most eminent preconditions. In ad hoc networks, common authentication schemes are not applicable since public key infrastructures with a centralized certification authority are hard to deploy in ad hoc networking environments. This paper aims to investigate these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to overcome these issues, the paper proposes and evaluates a security concept based on a distributed certification facility. Thereby, a network is divided into clusters with one special head node each. These cluster head nodes perform administrative functions and hold shares of a network key used for certification. New nodes start to participate in the network as guests; they can only become full members with a network‐signed certificate after their authenticity has been warranted by some other members. Access to resources and services within the ad hoc network is controlled using authorization certificates.

Findings

The feasibility of this concept was verified by simulations. Three different models for node mobility were used in order to include realistic scenarios as well as to make the results comparable to other work. The simulation results include an evaluation of the log‐on times, availability, and communication overhead.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a cluster‐based architecture to realize a distributed public key infrastructure that is highly adapted to the characteristics of ad hoc networks.

Keywords

Citation

Kraft, D., Bechler, M., Hof, H., Pählke, F. and Wolf, L. (2009), "Design and evaluation of a security architecture for ad hoc networks", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 448-475. https://doi.org/10.1108/17427370911008848

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited