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The deployment of wireless networks is in permanent growth. To exploit their intrinsic mobility advantages, collaborative networks such as first responder networks (FRNs) have recently adopted wireless networking technologies, Albiet at a small scale. FRNs require the collaboration of heterogeneous and mobile groups. Impeding the wide-scale use of wireless networking in FRNs are the many security challenges like user authentication, information flow and wireless media management. In this paper, we propose a solution that enables authenticated communication among multiple FRNs which is especially needed during critical events such as intervention in disaster situations. Our solution uses a two-level hierarchical proxy signature to decentralize the authentication process across different administrative networks. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first construction of two-level signature delegation applied to wireless environments. Security and performance analysis and comparison with other works demonstrate the viability and advantages of our solution.
Date of Conference: 12-15 Nov. 2007