Wireless networks are gaining popularity that comes with the occurrence of several networking technologies raising from personal to wide area, from centralized to distributed, and from infrastructure-based to infrastructure-less. Wireless data link characteristics such as openness of transmission media, makes these networks vulnerable to a novel set of security attacks, despite those that they inherit from wired networks. In order to ensure the protection of mobile nodes that are interconnected using wireless protocols and standards, it is essential to provide a depth study of a set of mechanisms and security models. In this chapter, we present the research studies and proposed solutions related to the authentication, privacy, trust establishment, and management in wireless networks. Moreover, we introduce and discuss the major security models used in a wireless environment.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Privacy: Privacy is the fact of protecting personal data and information related to a communication entity to be collected from other entities that are not authorized. Privacy is sometimes related to anonymity and can be seen as an aspect of security.
Digital Signature: Digital signature is a type of asymmetric cryptography used to simulate the security properties of a signature in digital rather than written form. Digital signature schemes normally give two algorithms, one for signing which involves the user’s secret or private key, and one for verifying signatures which involves the user’s public key. The output of the signature process is called the “digital signature.”
Hash Function: Hash function is a function that takes a long string (or “message”) of any length as input and produces a fixed length string as output, sometimes termed a message digest or a digital fingerprint.
Wireless Network: Wireless network refers to any type of network that is wireless, the term is most commonly used to refer to a telecommunications network whose interconnections between nodes is implemented without the use of wires.
Digital Certificate: Digital certificate is an electronic document which incorporates a digital signature to bind together a public key with an identity—information such as the name of a person or an organization, their address, and so forth. The certificate can be used to verify that a public key belongs to an individual.
Authentication: Authentication is the process of attempting to verify the digital identity of the sender of a communication such as a request to log in. The sender being authenticated may be a person using a computer, a computer itself, or a computer program.
Wireless Sensor Network (WSN): WSN is a wireless network consisting of spatially distributed autonomous devices using sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion, or pollutants at different locations. The development of wireless sensor networks was originally motivated by military applications. However, wireless sensor networks are now used in many civilian application areas.