Secure multicast in dynamic environments

Chun-Ying Huang*, Yun Peng Chiu, Kuan Ta Chen, Chin Laung Lei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A secure multicast framework should only allow authorized members of a group to decrypt received messages; usually, one "group key" is shared by all approved members. However, this raises the problem of "one affects all", whereby the actions of one member affect the whole group. Many researchers have solved the problem by dividing a group into several subgroups, but most current solutions require key distribution centers to coordinate secure data communications between subgroups. We believe this is a constraint on network scalability. In this paper, we propose a novel framework to solve key management problems in multicast networks. Our contribution is threefold: (1) We exploit the ElGamal cryptosystem and propose a technique of key composition. (2) Using key composition with proxy cryptography, the key distribution centers used in secure multicast frameworks are eliminated. (3) For key composition, the framework is designed to resist node failures and support topology reconstruction, which makes it suitable for dynamic network environments. Without reducing the security or performance of proxy cryptography, we successfully eliminate the need for key distribution centers. Our analysis shows that the proposed framework is secure, and comparison with other similar frameworks demonstrates that it is efficient in terms of time and space complexity. In addition, the costs of most protocol operations are bounded by constants, regardless of a group's size and the number of branches of transit nodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2805-2817
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number10
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2007


  • ElGamal cryptosystem
  • Key composition
  • Key management
  • Proxy cryptography
  • Secure multicast

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