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As multicasting technologies grow in popularity, so does the need for scalable security architectures to support the user base. Significant research efforts are ongoing in the areas of group-key distribution and management. However, little research has addressed the security of very large, distributed groups communicating via low-earth orbit satellite networks. In this article, we review the requirements common to most secure, multicast networking environments; discuss existing scalable multicast security architectures; and present a novel modular scalable architecture for secure multicast, adapted to a low-earth orbit satellite system. Simulated results reveal a twelve-fold reduction in average user rekeying and an order of magnitude reduction in required key distribution versus the baseline architecture.
Date of Publication: July-August 2007