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Design and Development of a Unified framework for Secure Group Communications


Nagesh H.R, K. Chandra Sekaran


Vol. 7  No. 7  pp. 321-330


Many emerging network applications (e.g. teleconference, information services, distributed interactive simulation and collaborative network) are based on a group communications model. As a result, securing group communications, i.e., providing confidentiality, authenticity, and integrity of messages delivered between group members, will become networking issue. A secure group is a triple (U, K, R) where U denotes a set of users, K a set of keys held by the users, and R is a user-key relation. Secure groups are specified using key graphs. Three rekeying strategies: user-oriented, key-oriented, and group-oriented for securely distributing rekey messages after a join or leave are designed. Protocols for joining and leaving secure groups are designed and implemented. The rekeying strategies and join or leave protocols are implemented in a key server. This paper deals with design and development of a unified framework for secure group communications which implements join/leave protocols for all three rekeying strategies. The strategy is worked on client/server basis in a hierarchical fashion, structured as a tree with the server at the root and groups forming the nodes ending up in clients. The height of the tree has been kept as constant (=3). Because of this height, join and leave operations will become easier. Public key cryptosystem has been used for encryption, decryption of rekey messages, and original messages (key length=1024-bits). Behavior of the system for user-oriented, key-oriented, and group-oriented rekeying strategies is experimented and reported in this paper. Our implementation of secure group communications provides authentication, confidentiality and integrity of the messages delivered between the group members.


Confidentiality, Group communications, Group key management, Key distribution, Multicast, Privacy, Rekeying, Security