A Survey on Key Management and Certificate Exchange in Mobile Adhoc Network

A Survey on Key Management and Certificate Exchange in Mobile Adhoc Network

Saju P. John (Department of Computer Science, Thejus Engineering College, Thrissur, India) and Philip Samuel (School of Engineering, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India)
DOI: 10.4018/ijbdcn.2014040103
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Owing to the wireless and dynamic nature, MANETs are susceptible to security attacks from malicious nodes. Key management, certificate exchange and certificate revocation mechanisms play a vital role in securing the network from attacks. When the certificate of a malicious node is revoked, it is denied from all activities and isolated from the network. This paper surveys various existing mechanisms in key management and certificate exchange. Key management methods are broadly classified into two types namely, contributory and distributive methods. Here, certificate distribution and exchange techniques are classified as trust-based and non-trust based methods. Certificate revocation techniques are classified as voting-based, cluster-based and trust-based schemes. The merits and demerits of each mechanism along with the performance are analyzed. Finally, a comparison table is designed to compare the existing mechanisms in an effective manner.
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1. Introduction

Mobile Adhoc Network (MANET) is a self-organizing network in which the nodes are free to move arbitrarily and arrange themselves (Taneja & Kush, 2010). These networks are used in applications ranges from large-scale and highly dynamic networks, to small and static networks (Sharma et al., 2010). Mobile adhoc networks are easily affected due to various attacks like active attacks, passive attacks etc., When the attacker cause jamming, transmit fake routing information or disrupt nodes from providing services, it is said to be active attacks. In passive attack, the attacker desires to gain control access over the network. To minimize the attacks, one should remove the attackers immediately after detecting the first attack. This can be done by using a certification system.

1.1. Key Management

The presence of cryptographic keys acts as a proof of trustworthiness. Therefore, a proper key-management service is very much needed to ensure that the nodes are legitimate members of the network and are equipped with the necessary keys whenever needed. Key-management services are generally needed for application layer security and protection of the network layer. Key management schemes for the application layer can assume an already running network service. Schemes for the network layer routing information cannot. Keys are a prerequisite to bootstrap a protected network service.

1.2. Certificate Distribution and Exchange

During transmission, every node in the adhoc network generates a public/private key pair. As the node generates this key pair by its own, the node must authenticate with some members in the network before joining and accessing the network resources. This authentication is performed according to the certificate exchange. The certificates are generated by any external resources such as server or Certificate Authority (CA). Certificate Authority (CA) is a trusted third party responsible for issuing and revoking certificates (Liu et al., 2011). CA signs a valid certificate digitally for each node. In the certificate exchange technique, the nodes authenticate themselves with the members before they join and start accessing the network resources (Sen, 2010).

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