In a mobile environment, a number of users act as a network nodes and communicate with one another to acquire location based information and services. This emerging paradigm has opened up new business opportunities and enables numerous applications such as road safety enhancement, service recommendations and mobile entertainment. A fundamental issue that impacts the success of these applications is the security and privacy concerns raised regarding the mobile users. In that, a malicious user or service provider can track the locations of a user traveled so that other malicious act can be carried out more effectively against the user. Therefore, the challenge becomes how to authenticate mobile users while preserving their actual identity and location privacy. In this work, we propose a novel randomized or privacy-preserving authentication protocol based on homomorphic encryption. The protocol allows individual users to self generate any number of authenticated identities to achieve full anonymity in mobile environment. The proposed protocol prevents users being tracked by any single party including peer users, service providers, authentication servers, and other infrastructure. Meanwhile, our protocol also provides traceability in case of any dispute. We have conducted experimental study which demonstrates the efficiency of our protocol. Another advantage of the proposed protocol is lightweight computation and storage requirement, particularly suitable for any mobile devices with limited computation power and storage space.
applications / authentication
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