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TAM: A Tiered Authentication of Multicast Protocol for Ad-Hoc Networks

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3 Author(s)
Mohamed Younis ; Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250 USA ; Osama Farrag ; Bryan Althouse

Ad-hoc networks are becoming an effective tool for many mission critical applications such as troop coordination in a combat field, situational awareness, etc. These applications are characterized by the hostile environment that they serve in and by the multicast-style of communication traffic. Therefore, authenticating the source and ensuring the integrity of the message traffic become a fundamental requirement for the operation and management of the network. However, the limited computation and communication resources, the large scale deployment and the unguaranteed connectivity to trusted authorities make known solutions for wired and single-hop wireless networks inappropriate. This paper presents a new Tiered Authentication scheme for Multicast traffic (TAM) for large scale dense ad-hoc networks. TAM combines the advantages of the time asymmetry and the secret information asymmetry paradigms and exploits network clustering to reduce overhead and ensure scalability. Multicast traffic within a cluster employs a one-way hash function chain in order to authenticate the message source. Cross-cluster multicast traffic includes message authentication codes (MACs) that are based on a set of keys. Each cluster uses a unique subset of keys to look for its distinct combination of valid MACs in the message in order to authenticate the source. The simulation and analytical results demonstrate the performance advantage of TAM in terms of bandwidth overhead and delivery delay.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 1 )