Context-Enhanced Authentication for Infrastructureless Network Environments

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Infrastructureless networks are becoming more popular with the increased prevalence of wireless networking technology. A significant challenge faced by these infrastructureless networks is that of providing security. In this paper we examine the issue of authentication, a fundamental component of most security approaches, and show how it can be performed despite an absence of trusted infrastructure and limited or no existing trust relationship between network nodes. Our approach enables nodes to authenticate using a combination of contextual information, harvested from the environment, and traditional authentication factors (such as public key cryptography). Underlying our solution is a generic threshold signature scheme that enables distributed generation of digital certificates.