Group key agreement in dynamic tactical networks

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Rahbar, Leila
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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Mobile tactical (military) networks have a number of concerns that distinguish them from commercial networks. Of primary concern is information security, achieved in part through message encryption using a common key. These networks are often wireless and ad hoc, that is they lack fixed infrastructure and communications are relayed in a multi-hop fashion. The mobility of the nodes leads to a highly dynamic and unpredictable network topology as well as a dynamic communication group membership. The focus of this thesis is on finding a secure and efficient solution to group key agreement in a tactical network. Existing group key establishment protocols were surveyed, but many were found inept in this setting. The best solution was the Arbitrary Topology Group Diffie Hellman (AT-GDH). However, this protocol has not been fully specified as no provisions were made for auxiliary key agreements. To complete the AT-GDH key agreement, additional protocols are presented to be performed upon group membership changes. Each protocol was evaluated in terms of efficiency and security. All agreements stemming from additions to the group membership were found to be highly efficient. However, the exponential key structure impedes the efficient removal of one or more participant's contributions.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2003