Authentication enhancement in command and control networks: (a study in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks)

Shawky, Mahmoud Ahmed (2024) Authentication enhancement in command and control networks: (a study in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Intelligent transportation systems contribute to improved traffic safety by facilitating real time communication between vehicles. By using wireless channels for communication, vehicular networks are susceptible to a wide range of attacks, such as impersonation, modification, and replay. In this context, securing data exchange between intercommunicating terminals, e.g., vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, constitutes a technological challenge that needs to be addressed. Hence, message authentication is crucial to safeguard vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs) from malicious attacks. The current state-of-the-art for authentication in VANETs relies on conventional cryptographic primitives, introducing significant computation and communication overheads. In this challenging scenario, physical (PHY)-layer authentication has gained popularity, which involves leveraging the inherent characteristics of wireless channels and the hardware imperfections to discriminate between wireless devices. However, PHY-layerbased authentication cannot be an alternative to crypto-based methods as the initial legitimacy detection must be conducted using cryptographic methods to extract the communicating terminal secret features. Nevertheless, it can be a promising complementary solution for the reauthentication problem in VANETs, introducing what is known as “cross-layer authentication.” This thesis focuses on designing efficient cross-layer authentication schemes for VANETs, reducing the communication and computation overheads associated with transmitting and verifying a crypto-based signature for each transmission. The following provides an overview of the proposed methodologies employed in various contributions presented in this thesis.

1. The first cross-layer authentication scheme: A four-step process represents this approach: initial crypto-based authentication, shared key extraction, re-authentication via a PHY challenge-response algorithm, and adaptive adjustments based on channel conditions. Simulation results validate its efficacy, especially in low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) scenarios while proving its resilience against active and passive attacks.

2. The second cross-layer authentication scheme: Leveraging the spatially and temporally correlated wireless channel features, this scheme extracts high entropy shared keys that can be used to create dynamic PHY-layer signatures for authentication. A 3-Dimensional (3D) scattering Doppler emulator is designed to investigate the scheme’s performance at different speeds of a moving vehicle and SNRs. Theoretical and hardware implementation analyses prove the scheme’s capability to support high detection probability for an acceptable false alarm value ≤ 0.1 at SNR ≥ 0 dB and speed ≤ 45 m/s.

3. The third proposal: Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) integration for improved authentication: Focusing on enhancing PHY-layer re-authentication, this proposal explores integrating RIS technology to improve SNR directed at designated vehicles. Theoretical analysis and practical implementation of the proposed scheme are conducted using a 1-bit RIS, consisting of 64 × 64 reflective units. Experimental results show a significant improvement in the Pd, increasing from 0.82 to 0.96 at SNR = − 6 dB for multicarrier communications.

4. The fourth proposal: RIS-enhanced vehicular communication security: Tailored for challenging SNR in non-line-of-sight (NLoS) scenarios, this proposal optimises key extraction and defends against denial-of-service (DoS) attacks through selective signal strengthening. Hardware implementation studies prove its effectiveness, showcasing improved key extraction performance and resilience against potential threats.

5. The fifth cross-layer authentication scheme: Integrating PKI-based initial legitimacy detection and blockchain-based reconciliation techniques, this scheme ensures secure data exchange. Rigorous security analyses and performance evaluations using network simulators and computation metrics showcase its effectiveness, ensuring its resistance against common attacks and time efficiency in message verification.

6. The final proposal: Group key distribution: Employing smart contract-based blockchain technology alongside PKI-based authentication, this proposal distributes group session keys securely. Its lightweight symmetric key cryptography-based method maintains privacy in VANETs, validated via Ethereum’s main network (MainNet) and comprehensive computation and communication evaluations.

The analysis shows that the proposed methods yield a noteworthy reduction, approximately ranging from 70% to 99%, in both computation and communication overheads, as compared to the conventional approaches. This reduction pertains to the verification and transmission of 1000 messages in total.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Conditional privacy-preservation, cross-layer authentication, PHY-layer authentication, PHY-layer security, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, Vehicular ad-hoc networks.
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Supervisor's Name: Taha, Dr. Ahmad and Ansari, Dr. Shuja
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84034
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2024 12:47
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2024 14:44
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84034
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