In this project, we consider the wireless network formed by
home appliances such as TVs and refrigerators, as well as personal computing
devices such as laptop computers, smart-phones and PDAs. It is desirable
that 1) mutual authentication between any two devices can be achieved
without any central authority, and 2) different devices are able to
communicate securely with one another using only limited computing power.
Traditionally, mutual authentication and secure communication in general
can be accomplished using public-key infrastructure (PKI) or Kerberos-like
protocols. However, these approaches have some limitations. First, a
centralized authority is often required throughout the lifetime of the
network. Second, some parts of the protocols require relatively expensive
computations and/or communications. These limitations make these approaches
inappropriate for home networks, where the computing power and the bandwidth
of the devices are usually limited, and there is typically no central
Key predistribution schemes (KPS), on the other hand, provide
many desirable features that are useful in home networks. In such schemes,
each device is preloaded with some keys that allow authentication and key
distribution to be done efficiently without requiring any central authority
to be present at the time of communication. Moreover, key revocations are
much easier for these schemes as compared to PKI.
The goal of this project
is to build a key predistribution infrastructure (KPI) around such KPSs, and
we aim to implement such an infrastructure on top of some popular protocols
such as UPnP. Such an infrastructure would be useful for any communication
among the devices in home networks, and would be especially useful to
achieve certain types of digital rights management (DRM).
Mahalingam Ramkumar(Mississippi State University)
Some publications can be found here.
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