A dynamic key management solution to access hierarchy


Hierarchical access control (HAC) has been a fundamental problem in computer and network systems. Since Akl and Taylor proposed the first HAC scheme based on number theory in 1983, cryptographic key management techniques for HAC have appeared as a new and promising class of solutions to the HAC problem. Many cryptographic HAC schemes have been proposed in the past two decades. One common feature associated with these schemes is that they basically limited dynamic operations at the node level. In this paper, by introducing the innovative concept of ‘access polynomial’ and representing a key value as the sum of two polynomials in a finite field, we propose a new key management scheme for dynamic access hierarchy. The newly proposed scheme supports full dynamics at both the node level and user level in a uniform yet efficient manner. Furthermore, the new scheme allows access hierarchy to be a random structure and can be flexibly adapted to many other access models such as ‘transfer down’ and ‘depth-limited transfer’.


Hierarchical access control, network systems, HAC, crypotographic key management, schemes, dynamic operations, node level

Date of this Version



International Journal of Network Management

Volume 17, Issue 6, pages 437–450, November/December 2007