Public Key Cryptography Sans Certificates in Ad Hoc Networks

  • Nitesh Saxena
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3989)


Several researchers have proposed the use of threshold cryptographic model to enable secure communication in ad hoc networks without the need of a trusted center. In this model, the system remains secure even in the presence of a certain threshold t of corrupted/malicious nodes.

In this paper, we show how to perform necessary public key operations without node-specific certificates in ad hoc networks. These operations include pair-wise key establishment, signing, and encryption. We achieve this by using Feldman’s verifiable polynomial secret sharing (VSS) as a key distribution scheme and treating the secret shares as the private keys. Unlike in the standard public key cryptography, where entities have independent private/public key pairs, in the proposed scheme the private keys are related (they are points on a polynomial of degree t) and each public key can be computed from the public VSS information and node identifier. We show that such related keys can still be securely used for standard signature and encryption operations (using resp. Schnorr signatures and ElGamal encryption) and for pairwise key establishment, as long as there are no more that t collusions/corruptions in the system.

The proposed usage of shares as private keys can also be viewed as a threshold-tolerant identity-based cryptosystem under standard (discrete logarithm based) assumptions.


Secret Sharing Random Oracle Discrete Logarithm Random Oracle Model Choose Message Attack 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nitesh Saxena
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information and Computer ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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