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A group key agreement (GKA) protocol is a mechanism to establish a cryptographic key for a group of participants, based on each one's contribution, over a public network. The key, thus derived, can be used to establish a secure channel between the participants. When the group composition changes (or otherwise), one can employ supplementary GKA protocols to derive a new key. Thus, they are well-suited to the key establishment needs of dynamic peer-to-peer networks as in ad hoc networks. While many of the proposed GKA protocols are too expensive to be employed by the constrained devices often present in ad hoc networks, others lack a formal security analysis. We present a simple, secure and efficient GKA protocol well suited to dynamic ad hoc networks. We also present results of our implementation of the protocol in a prototype application.
Date of Conference: 13-16 June 2005