A robust and redundant key management for mobile ad hoc networks

Dahshan, H.M.K. and Irvine, J. (2009) A robust and redundant key management for mobile ad hoc networks. In: Sixth IEEE International Symposium on Wireless Communication Systems, 1900-01-01.

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Due to the inherent nature of Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs), they are vulnerable to several types of attack such as passive and active attacks. In order to countermeasure the attack and to enable mobile nodes to communicate securely with each other, a key management process is always required. While central authorities perform the key management process in traditional wired networks, it is better to distribute the burden of key management process in MANET placed on a single authority among multiple nodes. In this paper, we propose a robust and redundant key management scheme for MANETs. In the proposed scheme, there are two approaches for key management. The first approach uses threshold cryptography to establish the distributed certificate authority among mobile nodes. The second approach is the key management through a web of trust. A mobile node can use one of the two approaches independently and can also use the two approaches together in order to obtain the authenticated public keys of other nodes in the network. The proposed scheme has been evaluated using the network simulator ns-2 and simulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.