Access Control in Wireless Local Area Networks: Fast Authentication Schemes

Access Control in Wireless Local Area Networks: Fast Authentication Schemes

Jahan Hassan (The University of Sydney, Australia), Björn Landfeldt (The University of Sydney, Australia) and Albert Y. Zomaya (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-899-4.ch044
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Wireless local area networks (WLAN) are rapidly becoming a core part of network access. Supporting user mobility, more specifically session continuation in changing network access points, is becoming an integral part of wireless network services. This is because of the popularity of emerging real-time streaming applications that can be commonly used when the user is mobile, such as voice-over-IP and Internet radio. However, mobility introduces a new set of problems in wireless environments because of handoffs between network access points (APs). The IEEE 802.11i security standard imposes an authentication delay long enough to hamper real-time applications. This chapter will provide a comprehensive study on fast authentication solutions found in the literature as well as the industry that address this problem. These proposals focus on solving the mentioned problem for intradomain handoff scenarios where the access points belong to the same administrative domain or provider. Interdomain roaming is also becoming common-place for wireless access. We need fast authentication solutions for these environments that are managed by independent administrative authorities. We detail such a solution that explores the use of local trust relationships to foster fast authentication.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Handoffs: Changing network link-layer connection from one network access point or network port to another one.

Network Access Control: Used for security purposes. Network access control determines who (or which device) to give access to the network.

FHR: A group of wireless access points in a public access LAN to whom the predictive authentication will be performed (Pack, 2002). FHR is selected by using a FHR selection algorithm, and taking into account the user mobility and traffic pattern.

Neighbor Graph: A collection of APs that the mobile device is likely to handoff to in its next moves (Mishra, 2004).

Trust Cloud: A trust cloud is a collection of trust links for a given access point or residential gateway (RG) (Hassan, 2006).

Trust Link: A trust link defines the trust relationship between any two given RG (Hassan, 2006).

IEEE 802.11: Also known as Wi-Fi, this is a set of standards for WLANs from the IEEE 802 working group 11.

IEEE802.11i: An amendment to standard 802.11 to specify security mechanisms for Wi-Fi networks.

Wireless Networks: Networks (of computers) that allow network nodes (e.g., user devices) to connect to the network infrastructure without any wire, typically using short range radio.

WLANs: Wireless local area networks. Local area networks that allow every computer to use a wireless LAN card with which it can communicate with other systems.

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