Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mukesh Singhal

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth L. Calvert

Abstract

The gap between abstract, mathematics-oriented research in cryptography and the engineering approach of designing practical, network security protocols is widening. Network researchers experiment with well-known cryptographic protocols suitable for different network models. On the other hand, researchers inclined toward theory often design cryptographic schemes without considering the practical network constraints. The goal of this dissertation is to address problems in these two challenging areas: building bridges between practical network security protocols and theoretical cryptography. This dissertation presents techniques for building performance sensitive security protocols, using primitives from linear feedback register sequences (LFSR) sequences, for a variety of challenging networking applications. The significant contributions of this thesis are:

1. A common problem faced by large-scale multicast applications, like real-time news feeds, is collecting authenticated feedback from the intended recipients. We design an efficient, scalable, and fault-tolerant technique for combining multiple signed acknowledgments into a single compact one and observe that most signatures (based on the discrete logarithm problem) used in previous protocols do not result in a scalable solution to the problem.

2. We propose a technique to authenticate on-demand source routing protocols in resource-constrained wireless mobile ad-hoc networks. We develop a single-round multisignature that requires no prior cooperation among nodes to construct the multisignature and supports authentication of cached routes.

3. We propose an efficient and scalable aggregate signature, tailored for applications like building efficient certificate chains, authenticating distributed and adaptive content management systems and securing path-vector routing protocols.

4. We observe that blind signatures could form critical building blocks of privacypreserving accountability systems, where an authority needs to vouch for the legitimacy of a message but the ownership of the message should be kept secret from the authority. We propose an efficient blind signature that can serve as a protocol building block for performance sensitive, accountability systems.

All special forms digital signatures—aggregate, multi-, and blind signatures—proposed in this dissertation are the first to be constructed using LFSR sequences. Our detailed cost analysis shows that for a desired level of security, the proposed signatures outperformed existing protocols in computation cost, number of communication rounds and storage overhead.

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