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Secure and efficient anonymous authentication scheme for three-tier mobile healthcare systems with wearable sensors

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The mobility and openness of wireless communication technologies make Mobile Healthcare Systems (mHealth) potentially exposed to a number of potential attacks, which significantly undermines their utility and impedes their widespread deployment. Attackers and criminals, even without knowing the context of the transmitted data, with simple eavesdropping on the wireless links, may benefit a lot from linking activities to the identities of patient’s sensors and medical staff members. These vulnerabilities apply to all tiers of the mHealth system. A new anonymous mutual authentication scheme for three-tier mobile healthcare systems with wearable sensors is proposed in this paper. Our scheme consists of three protocols: Protocol-1 allows the anonymous authentication nodes (mobile users and controller nodes) and the HSP medical server in the third tier, while Protocol-2 realizes the anonymous authentication between mobile users and controller nodes in the second tier, and Protocol-3 achieves the anonymous authentication between controller nodes and the wearable body sensors in the first tier. In the design of our protocols, the variation in the resource constraints of the different nodes in the mHealth system are taken into consideration so that our protocols make a better trade-off among security, efficiency and practicality. The security of our protocols are analyzed through rigorous formal proofs using BAN logic tool and informal discussions of security features, possible attacks and countermeasures. Besides, the efficiency of our protocols are concretely evaluated and compared with related schemes. The comparisons show that our scheme outperforms the previous schemes and provides more complete and integrated anonymous authentication services. Finally, the security of our protocols are evaluated by using the Automated Validation of Internet Security Protocols and Applications and the SPAN animator software. The simulation results show that our scheme is secure and satisfy all the specified privacy and authentication goals.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61300220 & 61572013 & 61572188, the Scientific Research Fund of Hunan Provincial Education Department under Grant No. 16B089. Saru Kumari is sponsered by the University Grants Commission, India through UGC-BSR Start-up grant under Grant no. 3(A)(60)31.

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Correspondence to Xiong Li.

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Li, X., Ibrahim, M.H., Kumari, S. et al. Secure and efficient anonymous authentication scheme for three-tier mobile healthcare systems with wearable sensors. Telecommun Syst 67, 323–348 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11235-017-0340-1

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  • WBAN
  • mHealth
  • Wearable sensors
  • Authentication
  • Anonymity
  • Key exchange