PurposeRiding on the wave of intelligent transportation systems, the vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) is becoming a popular research topic. VANET is designed to build an environment where the vehicles can exchange information about the traffic conditions or vehicle situation to help the vehicles avoid traffic accidents or traffic jams. In order to keep the privacy of vehicles, the vehicles must be anonymous and the routing must be untraceable while still being able to be verified as legal entities. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachThe exchanged messages must be authenticated to be genuine and verified that they were sent by a legal vehicle. The vehicles also can mutually trust and communicate confidentially. In VANETs, road-side units (RSUs) are installed to help the vehicles to obtain message authentication or communicate confidentially. However, the coverage of RSUs is limited due to the high cost of wide area installation. Therefore the vehicles must be able to obtain message authentication by themselves – without an RSU.FindingsThe authors take the concept of random key pre-distribution used in wireless sensor networks, modify it into a random secret pre-distribution, and integrate it with identity-based cryptography to make anonymous message authentication and private communication easier and safer. The authors construct a two-tier structure. The tier 1, trust authority, assigns n anonymous identities and embeds n secrets into these identities to be the private secret keys for the tier 2, registered vehicles. At any time, the vehicles can randomly choose one of n anonymous identities to obtain message authentication or communicate confidentially with other vehicles.Originality/valueThe processes of building neighbor set, setting pairing value, and message authenticating are proposed in this paper. The proposed method can protect against the attacks of compromising, masquerading, forging, and replying, and can also achieve the security requirements of VANET in message authentication, confidential communication, anonymity, and un-traceability. The performance of the proposed method is superior to the related works.
Engineering Computations – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 7, 2016
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