A Topological Approach to Secure Message Dissemination in Vehicular Networks

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 2018, 21, (1), pp. 135-148
Issue Date:
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Secure message dissemination is an important issue in vehicular networks, especially considering the vulnerability of vehicle to vehicle message dissemination to malicious attacks. Traditional security mechanisms, largely based on message encryption and key management, can only guarantee secure message exchanges between known source and destination pairs. In vehicular networks however, every vehicle may learn its surrounding environment and contributes as a source, while in the meantime act as a destination or a relay of information from other vehicles, message exchanges often occur between "stranger" vehicles. For secure message dissemination in vehicular networks against insider attackers, who may tamper the content of the disseminated messages, ensuring the consistency and integrity of the transmitted messages becomes a major concern that traditional message encryption and key management based approaches fall short to provide. In this paper, by incorporating the underlying network topology information, we propose an optimal decision algorithm that is able to maximize the chance of making a correct decision on the message content, assuming the prior knowledge of the percentage of malicious vehicles in the network. Furthermore, a novel heuristic decision algorithm is proposed that can make decisions without the aforementioned knowledge of the percentage of malicious vehicles. Simulations are conducted to compare the security performance achieved by our proposed decision algorithms with that achieved by existing ones that do not consider or only partially consider the topological information, to verify the effectiveness of the algorithms. Our results show that by incorporating the network topology information, the security performance can be much improved. This work shed light on the optimum algorithm design for secure message dissemination.
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