Secure and Fast Authentication

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An Identity Based Secure and Fast Authentication
Protocol in Wireless Mobile Networks
Hongchao Wang, Ping Dong, Hongke Zhang
Next Generation Internet Research Center
School of Electronics and Information Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University
Beijing, P. R. China
[email protected]
Abstract—With the development of wireless mobile networks,
more security issues, such as identity spoof, DoS attack, ARP
attack, have been exposed out recently. Meanwhile, mobile nodes
require higher performance of handover. However, existing
solutions cannot solve the problems flexibly and effectively. In
this paper, we present an identity based secure and fast
authentication protocol (IBSFAP) for mobile nodes to support
their secure and fast handover among different access points.
Through experiments and analysis, we find that the proposed
protocol has the following merits. First, it can make the mobile
nodes and the accessing network establish a mutual trustworthy
relationship to avoid any spoof from the other side. Second, it can
provide the mobile nodes with a secure and fast handover among
different access points very well. Third, the proposed protocol
needs less computation and transmission resources to finish its
function.
Keywords-authentication; security; access control; fast
handover; wireless network
I. INTRODUCTION
Recently, with the fast development of wireless network
technology, more and more mobile nodes will access the
Internet. In wireless mobile networks, reducing the handover
latency and providing the handover security are two important
issues. Recent years, IETF has designed several protocols such
as MIP [1], MIPv6 [2], HIP [3], to support the mobility.
FMIPv6 [4] specifies an enhanced protocol of MIPv6 to
improve handover latency by predictive handover of the Layer
2-Data Link Layer.
In the current Internet designed in the late 1970’s and early
1980’s, all the nodes were originally assumed to work in a
trustworthy environment. However, the recent network security
threats (e.g., Denial-of-Services (DoS), spam information,
identity spoof, and Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) attack.)
have proved the assumption not to come into existence.
Therefore, a lot of network access control protocols were
proposed. Ingress Filtering [5] is a typical scheme to
implement network access control. Besides, context-based
access control schemes [6] [7], http authentication [8], etc. are
also researched or applied in the current networks.
In addition, the channels of wireless mobile networks are
easy to access and the network protocols are open for all the
users. Consequently, when a pairs of wireless mobile nodes are
communicating through the wireless mobile networks, it is
easy for the third party to capture the packets and analyze the
content, even juggle or clone the data and spoof the opposite
side to acquire some important information. Although some
protocols such as IPSec [9] [10] [11], TLS [12], have been
proposed, the security problem of network layer still cannot be
solved thoroughly. In conclusion, all the proposed protocols
could not solve the above problems radically. Therefore, we
design IBSFAP, an identity based secure and fast
authentication protocol, for mobile nodes to support their
secure and fast handover among different access points in this
paper.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section
II introduces the background of our protocol. Section III
describes our protocol in detail. Section IV gives out the
analysis of our protocol and shows some experiments on our
prototype. Finally, section V concludes this paper.
II. BACKGROUND
In wireless mobile networks, the basic authentication
system generally consists of home authentication servers,
foreign authentication servers, home authentication agents,
foreign authentication agent and mobile nodes, as shown in Fig.
1. Its working mechanism can be described as follows:
Whenever the mobile node moves into a foreign network, it
should attach foreign authentication agent, through which it
passes the authentication of the network. If the corresponding
foreign authentication server doesn’t have the authentication
information of the mobile node, it will consult with the home
authentication server of the mobile node, and determines
whether the mobile node is a legal one.
Figure 1. The Basic Authentication Model
978-1-4244-2108-4/08/$25.00 © 2008 IEEE 1
Because of the exchange of authentication messages
between inter-domains, usually, the time cost of the
authentication process cannot be tolerated by some real-time
applications. Besides the low handover latency, the security is
the key issue, which is the original requirement of an
authentication protocol. However, the proposed schemes [13]
[14], cannot satisfy either the security need or the low handover
latency.
In the Universal Network [15], our team proposes an
Identifiers Separating and Mapping Architecture, which can
provide efficient improvements in mobility, security, routing
scalability, etc., by separating customer networks from the core
network strictly, decoupling node identities from their network
locations, and bridging customer networks and the core
network by a mapping service. Just on this basis, in this paper
we design the proposed protocol IBSFAP, which can provide
low handover latency, well security and access control together
with the identifiers separating and mapping scheme.
III. AN IDENTITY BASED SECURE AND FAST
AUTHENTICATION PROTOCOL
A. Overview of IBSFAP
In order to illustrate our protocol clearly, we first give out
the following important terms and definitions:
ASR: a router which is at the edge of the core network,
responsible for providing the service of network access to
hosts, authenticating hosts that want to access the network,
assigning and maintaining the mappings between the accessing
identifiers and the routing identifiers for the hosts which have
past the authentication, meanwhile mapping the identifiers of
the packets and forwarding the packets in the network layer.
AUC: a server which is responsible for recording the
information about the accessing identifiers and identity
information of hosts, authenticating hosts when they try to
access the network, and providing some necessary information
about encryption between hosts and ASRs.
HI: an identifier of host identity which can indicate a
unique host. It can be generated from the inherent hardware
information, e.g. device type, manufactory, serial number. Its
format is uniform for various kinds of hosts.
“|”: concatenation;
C’: content received for content “C”;
E
Key
(X): The result of encryption to “X” with key;
Challenge: the challenge to the network;
Response: the response to the challenge;
Lifetime(T): whether or not the lifetime of T is valid;
F(M): the flag of the process result to message M;
IBSFAP supports the security by using random access
token, identity authentication, challenge and response, while
provides low handover latency by the predictive diffusion of
authentication information between the neighbor ASRs.
Of course, the identity information of the hosts should be
registered into the home AUCs before our protocol works. The
registered information can be described by the expression:
Info
reg
= {AID, HI, Key}
In the expression, the AID is a network layer identifier. A
host has one or more globally unique AID(s), which will not
change even if the mobile node has moved into another area.
The Key, set by the user, is used to generate the encryption
information for the transition of messages and the storage of HI.
The generation of HI can be described as follows:
HI = H(I
1
(A
1
)|I
2
(A
2
)|…|I
n
(A
n
))
In the equation, A
i
(1in) denotes the i’th attribute of the
device information, for example, device type. Due to the
existing differences among various devices, we design I
i
(A
i
)
(1in) to uniform the format of the i’th attribute A
i
.
Function H(I
1
|I
2
|…|I
n
) integrates all the attributes into a bunch
of attributes and generates the HI by taking a hash algorithm
over the attribute bunch.
Having finished the registration of identity information, the
mobile node can attempt to access the network and trigger the
authentication process.
B. Basic Protocol Exchange Process
In a whole authentication process, the host and the network
need to finish the interaction of eight types of messages among
three network entities: Host, ASR and AUC. Until the host and
the network finish the authentication, the host cannot take the
service of network access, because there is no identifier
mapping item for the host in the ASR. Fig. 2 illustrates the
basic authentication process in detail.
The basic exchange of authentication process can be
divided into the following steps:
Step 1: the host sends out an access authentication request
message M
authreq
={T
host
} to the ASR with a random token T
host
.
Step 2: the ASR send an authentication reply message
M
authrep
={T’
host
|T
asr
} with another random token T
asr
together
with T’
host
.
Step 3: when the host receives the M
authrep
, it then processes
the message as follow:
if ((Lifetime(T’’
host
) ==Value) && (T
host
== T’’
host
))
generates authentication parameter message:
M
authpar
={T
host
|T’
asr
|E
key
(HI)|Challenge}
and sends the M
authpar
to the ASR;
else
discards the M
authrep
;
end if
Step 4: when the ASR receives the M
authpar
, it will do as:
if ((Lifetime(T’’
asr
) ==Value) &&(T
asr
== T’’
asr
))
generates authentication query message:
M
authque
={T
host
|T’
asr
|E
key
(HI)|Challenge|AID}
and forwards the M
authque
to the AUC;
else
discards the M
authpar
;
end if
Step 5: the AUC searches the item of AID included in the
M
authque
. If the item of AID doesn’t exist in the AUC, F(M
authque
)
will be set False, otherwise Ture. The AUC will reply the ASR
978-1-4244-2108-4/08/$25.00 © 2008 IEEE 2
Figure 2. The basic exchange of authentication messages
with authentication query result message with the message
M
qureres
= {F(M
authque
)|Info
encrpt
|Response|AID} . Info
encrpt
is some
encryption information encryption used by the host and ASR
for the succeeding transmission of data.
Step 6: the ASR will assign a route identifier mapping from
AID and announces the host with authentication response
message M
authres
= {F(M
authque
)|Response}, if the flag in the
M
qureres
is Ture. Otherwise the ASR will directly send the M
authres
to the host.
Step 7: the host can gain the result of authentication and the
response to the challenge it has send to the network from the
M
authres
. Therefore, the host can determine whether or not the
network is legal. If the network is legal, the host will negotiate
about the encryption mode with the ASR by sending the
authentication encryption message M
authenc
= {MODE
encrypt
} to
the ASR.
Step 8: the ASR will reply the host with the encryption
indication message M
encrind
to indicate the host the result of
negotiation.
C. Support of Fast Handover
In order to reduce the handover latency, we design the
diffusion process in IBSAFP. We divide the handover into two
scenes as shown in Fig. 3:
1) Handover between different ASRs in the same domain
The mobile nodes can move randomly in the areas, even if
different access points, which are covered by one ASR, while
the network needs to do nothing to support the fast handover,
because there are all the authentication information in the ASR.
In the first scene, we emphasize to describe the handover
between ASRs in one domain.
Once the mobile node finishes the authentication process,
the ASR assigns a route identifier mapping from AID and
diffuses the information about the authentication item to the
neighbor ASR. The neighbor relations of ASRs can be gained
from the manual configuration.
Having received the diffusive authentication information,
the neighbor ASR adds the item in its authentication list, and
signs the state of the authentication item as NEIGHBOR and
UNUSED.
2) Handover between ASRs in the different domains
Figure 3. The handover scenes of mobility
When the handover occurs between domains, the above
diffusion process can still be adopted, but the neighbor
relations of ASRs should be negotiated. Usually, the negotiation
between domains is difficult to operate, so we design another
scheme participated by the mobile nodes to finish it. In the
scheme, when the mobile node move at the edge of a domain
and the current quality of wireless signal reduces down to the
threshold, it will scan the surrounding ASRs (including the ASR
in the neighbor domain). In our scheme, we assume that the
mobile nodes can get the AIDs of ASRs from the scanning
signals. The mobile node then sends the AIDs of the ASRs
corresponding to the signals to the current ASR. After that, the
current ASR can diffuse the authentication information to all
the ASRs the mobile node has reported.
Since all the operations take place before the handover
really occurs, the handover latency will not increase. After the
network finishes the diffusion process, the mobile nodes can
handover to the new domain.
IV. ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTS
A. Security Analysis
Security is one of the important issues that a protocol needs
to take account of at the beginning of its design. Now we
analyze the security of our protocol in the accessing networks
with the familiar threat models as follows:
1) Identity Deception
In our protocol, there are both the process that hosts send
their identities to the network for authentication and the process
that the network responses the challenges of the hosts. The two
processes ensure a mutual trustful environment to be
constructed between the hosts and the network.
2) DoS Attack
The tokens carried in the messages of authentication
process are checked in the message interactive process and
refreshed periodically. Any packet including a wrong token
will be discarded. In some sense, this measure reduces the
probability of DoS attacks.
3) Clone Threat
After the last interactive, the exchange messages between
the hosts and the ASRs will be encrypted. Because the third part
couldn’t obtain the specific encryption information, the packet
sent out by the cloning user will be dropped at all time.
Thereby, the attacker will not be able to achieve his aim of
clone.
978-1-4244-2108-4/08/$25.00 © 2008 IEEE 3
4) Replay Attack
In our scheme, the token in the authentication has a certain
survival time. Only within the effective survival time of the
token, the messages could be accepted and processed.
5) Man-in-the-middle Attack
Our protocol designs a process of negotiation about
encryption information. Because the Man-in-the-middle
attackers have no encryption information, the attacker cannot
encrypt and decrypt the packets. Any packet modified by the
man in the middle will be checked out.
B. Performance of IBSFAP
In order to evaluate the functions and performances of our
scheme, we make the following experiments in our prototype
illustrated by Fig. 4. In the experiment, we test the latency
introduced by the authentication and the effect of the increasing
number of authentication item in the AUC. Fig. 5 and Fig. 6
give out the test results.
Domain
0001
Domain
0010
AUC 1
AUC 2
ASR 2 ASR 3
ASR 1
MN MN
Mobile Node
Figure 4. The topology of the experiment prototype
10 20 30 40 50 60
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
T
h
e

C
o
s
t

o
f

A
u
t
h
e
n
t
i
c
a
t
io
n

(
m
s
)

Figure 5. The Interval of the Authentication Process
10
0
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
The number of Authentication Items
T
h
e

a
v
e
r
a
g
e

c
o
s
t

o
f

a

w
h
o
le

A
u
t
h
e
n
t
ic
a
t
io
n

P
r
o
c
e
s
s

(
m
s
)
Figure 6. The Relationship between the Processing Performance and the
Number of Authentication Items
From Fig. 5, we can see that the cost of a whole
authentication process is distributed from 4ms to 10ms with an
average of 6ms, while the fast handover latency is only 3ms
averagely. Meanwhile, with the increasing number of
authentication items, the average cost gradually increases, but
the growth speed of the average cost is low illustrated by Fig. 6.
When the number of authentication items is 5,000, the average
cost of our scheme is still below 20ms. The data from the
experiments adequately proves that our protocol can satisfy the
need of low handover latency.
V. CONCLUSIONS
This paper proposes an Identity Based Secure and Fast
Authentication Protocol designed for wireless mobile networks.
With our protocol, mobile nodes can access the network
securely and handover in the wireless mobile network fast.
However, there are some issues that are not solved in this
paper. For future work, we will consider how to generate the
neighbor relations of ASRs automatically, and how to
communicate with the encryption information so as to make
the performances of our protocol better.
REFERENCES
[1] C. Perkins, “IP Mobility Support for IPv4, revised,” draft-ietf-mip4-
rfc3344bis-06, March 2008.
[2] D. Johnson, C. Perkins, and J. Arkko, “Mobility Support in IPv6,” IETF
RFC 3775, June 2004.
[3] R. Moskowitz, P. Nikander, P. Jokela, T. Henderson, “Host Identity
Protocol (HIP) Architecture,” IETF RFC 4423, May 2006.
[4] R. Koodli, “Fast Handovers for Mobile IPv6, ” IETF RFC 4068, July
2005.
[5] P. Ferguson, D. Senie, “Network Ingress Filtering: Defeating Denial of
Service Attacks which employ IP Source Address Spoofing,” IETF RFC
2827, May 2000.
[6] M. Strembeck, G. Neumann, “An integrated approach to engineer and
enforce context constraints in RBAC,” ACM Transactions on
Information and System Security, 2004, 7 (3): 392-427.
[7] P. McDaniel, “On context in authorization policy,” Proceedings of the
eighth ACM symposium on Access control models and technologies,
2003, 80-89.
[8] R. Fielding, Ed, J. Gettys, J. Mogul, H. Frystyk, L. Masinter, P. Leach,
Y. Lafon, Ed, T., Berners-Lee, J. Reschke, Ed, “HTTP/1.1, part 7:
Authentication,” draft-ietf-httpbis-p7-auth-02, February 2008.
[9] S. Kent, R. Atkinson, “Security Architecture for the Internet Protocol,”
IETF RFC 2401, November 1998.
[10] S. Kent, R. Atkinson, “IP Authentication Header,” IETF RFC 2402,
November 1998.
[11] S. Kent, R. Atkinson, “IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP),” IETF
RFC 2402, November 1998.
[12] T. Dierks, E. Rescorla, “The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol
Version 1.1,” IETF RFC 4346, April 2006.
[13] Charles E Perkins, “Mobile IP Joins Force with AAA [J],” IEEE
Personal Comunications, 2000, 7(4): 59-61.
[14] A. Patel, K. Leung, M. Khalil, H. Akhtar, and K. Chowdhury,
“Authentication Protocol for Mobile IPv6,” draft-ietf-mip6-auth-
protocol-07, September 2005.
[15] P. Dong, Y.J. Qin, H.K. Zhang, “Research on Universal Network
Supporting Pervasive Services,” Acta Electronica Sinica, Vol. 35, No. 4,
pp. 599-606, 2007.
978-1-4244-2108-4/08/$25.00 © 2008 IEEE 4

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