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Distributed user authentication in wireless LANs

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3 Author(s)
Dmitriy Kuptsov ; Helsinki Institute for Information Technology Helsinki University of Technology, Finland ; Andrey Khurri ; Andrei Gurtov

An increasing number of mobile devices, including smartphones, use WLAN for accessing the Internet. Existing WLAN authentication mechanisms are either disruptive, such as presenting a captive web page prompting for password, or unreliable, enabling a malicious user to attack a part of operator's infrastructure. In this paper, we present a distributed authentication architecture for WLAN users providing instant network access without manual interactions. It supports terminal mobility across WLAN access points with the Host Identity Protocol (HIP), at the same time protecting the operator's infrastructure from external attacks. User data sent over a wireless link is protected by the IPsec ESP protocol. We present our architecture design and implementation experience on two OpenWrt WLAN access points, followed by measurement results of the working prototype. The system is being deployed into pilot use in the city-wide panOULU WLAN.

Published in:

World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks & Workshops, 2009. WoWMoM 2009. IEEE International Symposium on a

Date of Conference:

15-19 June 2009