A Novel Key Management Service for Securing Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
Paper Presenter: Kaleem Ahmed USMANI, CDAC School of Advanced Computing
Kavi Kumar KHEDO, University of Mauritius, Raja Krishnamurthy SUBRAMANIAN,
University of Mauritius & Nupur PRAKASH, University School of IT, GGS Indraprastha
Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) are a new paradigm of wireless communication for mobile
hosts. In mobile ad hoc network, there is no fixed infrastructure such as base stations or mobile
switching centers. Mobile nodes that are within each other's radio range communicate directly
via wireless links, while those that are far apart rely on other nodes to relay messages as routers.
Node mobility in mobile ad hoc network causes frequent changes of the network topology .
MANETs technology targets networks that can be rapidly deployed or formed in an arbitrary
environment to enable or facilitate communications or to serve a common objective dictated by
the supported application. Such networks can be heterogeneous, with various types of
equipment, usage, transmission, and mobility patterns. Examples of applications for MANETs
range from military operations and emergency disaster relief to community networking and
interaction among meeting attendees or students during a lecture .
The proliferation of this networking paradigm is strongly dependent on the availability of
security provisions. The absence of infrastructure, the nature of the envisioned applications, and
the resource-constrained environment pose some new challenges in securing the protocols in the
ad hoc networking environments . In particular, the security requirements can differ
significantly from those for infrastructure-based networks, while the provision of security
enhancements may take completely different directions as well. On one hand, the security-
sensitive applications of ad hoc networks require high degree of security; on the other hand,
mobile ad hoc networks are inherently vulnerable to security attacks. Therefore, security
mechanisms are indispensable for mobile ad hoc networks. The idiosyncrasy of ad hoc networks
poses both challenges and opportunities for these mechanisms.
In this paper, we study the threats a mobile ad hoc network faces and the security goals to be
achieved. We identify the new challenges and opportunities posed by this networking
environment and explore new approaches to secure its communication. We then propose a new
approach to address such a multifaceted and intriguing problem. Finally, we identify some open
problems and possible solutions.
Indeed, this paper focuses on how to secure routing and how to establish a secure key
management service in a mobile ad hoc networking environment. These two issues are essential
to achieving our security goals. Finally, to build a novel secure key management service which is
highly available and secure, we propose the use of threshold cryptography to distribute trust
among a set of nodes (servers).
The future scope of this paper includes the following issues:
Designing efficient routing protocols that have both strong security and high network
The security of routing protocols in the MANETs dynamic environment is an additional
challenge. The self-organizing environment introduces new security issues that are not
addressed by the basic security services provided for infrastructure-based networks.
Another challenging MANETs security problem is the issue of secure routing in the
presence of selfish or adversarial entities which selectively drop packets they agreed to
forward: and in so doing these entities can disrupt the network traffic and cause various
The intrinsic ability to create generic, small scale, mobile ad hoc networks in portable
devices and providing security to these devices in ad hoc based applications.
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Conference (CNDS). San Antonio, Texas, January 27-31,2002.
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