Dissertation Defense

Security and Collaboration Protocols for Mobile and Sensor Networks

Katharine Chang

Research in network and computer system architecture is evolving
beyond its traditional focus as mobile devices become ubiquitous
and mobile computing triggers dramatic change in the computing
world. Mobile devices can form heterogeneous mobile networks that
provide distributed services and information access in real-time
from various locations. Coincident with this change, the assurance
of network and system security and availability becomes an
important problem. This problem is challenging because it requires
the system to be easy to manage and operate, but also requires
reliability and fault-tolerance. For the purpose of securing a
network, we usually require authentication, authorization, and
accounting. Authentication requires users to prove their identity.
Accounting requires intrusion detection or forensic analysis to
find attacks in the system. Finally, authorization requires access
control to ensure data privacy.

This dissertation aims to design security and collaboration
protocols to create a comprehensive trust framework to protect
mobile and sensor networks by applying cryptographic algorithms.
It makes three primary contributions. First, we propose and
implement a distributed authentication protocol called DAPP in
wireless sensor networks to allow sensors to authenticate servers
without requiring a commonly-used trusted authentication server.
DAPP maintains the distributed nature of sensor networks, has low
computation and communication overhead, and is resilient to node
compromise. Second, to attain security for nodes in mobile ad hoc
networks, we present an intrusion detection system (IDS)
architecture at the application layer to help detect malicious
nodes in the network. We describe the design of this architecture
and the use of mobile agents to augment each node's IDS. Finally,
we design a trusted group-based information sharing protocol
called TGIS for mobile devices to establish a trust relationship
with collaborators and enforce data access control between
collaborators with different privileges. TGIS is built upon
existing trust infrastructures in individual organizations to
enable trust management for group collaborations.

The security and collaboration protocols presented in this
dissertation together achieve secure distributed authentication,
authorization, and accounting in mobile and sensor networks.

Sponsored by

K. Shin