A Hybrid Approach to Secure Hierarchical Mobile IPv6 Networks

Tianhan Gao, Nan Guo, Kangbin Yim

Establishing secure access and communications in a hierarchical mobile IPv6 (HMIPv6) network, when a mobile node is roaming into a foreign network, is a challenging task and has so far received little attention. Existing solutions are mainly based on public key infrastructure (PKI) or identity-based cryptography (IBC). However, these solutions suffer from either efficiency or scalability problems. In this paper, we leverage the combination of PKI and certificate-based cryptography and propose a hierarchical security architecture for the HMIPv6 roaming service. Under this architecture, we present a mutual authentication protocol based on a novel cross-certificate and certificate-based signature scheme. Mutual authentication is achieved locally during the mobile node�s handover. In addition, we propose a key establishment scheme and integrate it into the authentication protocol which can be utilized to set up a secure channel for subsequent communications after authentication. As far as we know, our approach is the first addressing the security of HMIPv6 networks using such a hybrid approach. In comparison with PKI-based and IBC-based schemes, our solution has better overall performance in terms of authenticated handover latency.