Skip to Main Content
Secure key distribution schemes for group communications allow to establish a secure multicast communication between a group manager and group members through an unreliable broadcast channel. The article classifies, analyzes and compares the most significant key distribution schemes, by looking at the selective key distribution algorithms, at the predistributed secret data management, and at the self-healing mechanisms. It reviews polynomial-based algorithms, exponential arithmetic based algorithms, hash-based techniques, and others. Attention is paid to the self-healing property, which permits group members to recover missing session keys from the recent key distribution broadcast message, without any additional interaction with the group manager.