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A Survey of Key Management in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

A Survey of Key Management in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
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Author(s): Bing Wu (Fayetteville State University, USA), Jie Wu (Florida Atlantic University, USA) and Mihaela Cardei (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 21
Source title: Handbook of Research on Wireless Security
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Yan Zhang (Simula Research Laboratory, Norway), Jun Zheng (City University of New York, USA) and Miao Ma (National Institute of Information & Communications Tech, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-899-4.ch030


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Security has become a primary concern in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). The characteristics of MANETs pose both challenges and opportunities in achieving security goals, such as confidentiality, authentication, integrity, availability, access control, and nonrepudiation. Cryptographic techniques are widely used for secure communications in wired and wireless networks. Most cryptographic mechanisms, such as symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, often involve the use of cryptographic keys. However, all cryptographic techniques will be ineffective if the key management is weak. Key management is also a central component in MANET security. The purpose of key management is to provide secure procedures for handling cryptographic keying materials. The tasks of key management include key generation, key distribution, and key maintenance. Key maintenance includes the procedures for key storage, key update, key revocation, key archiving, and so forth. In MANETs, the computational load and complexity for key management are strongly subject to restriction by the node’s available resources and the dynamic nature of network topology. A number of key management schemes have been proposed for MANETs. In this chapter, we present a survey of the research work on key management in MANETs according to recent literature.

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