International Association for Cryptologic Research

Ph.D. Database

The aim of the IACR Ph.D. database is twofold. On the first hand, we want to offer an overview of Ph.D. already completed in the domain of cryptology. Where possible, this should also include a subject classification, an abstract, and access to the full text. On the second hand, it deals with Ph.D. subjects currently under investigation. This way, we provide a timely map of contemporary research in cryptology. All entries or changes need to be approved by an editor. You can contact them via phds (at)


Andre Weimerskirch (#412)
Name Andre Weimerskirch
Personal Homepage
Topic of his/her doctorate. Authentication in Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks
Category cryptographic protocols
Ph.D. Supervisor(s) Christof Paar
Year of completion 2004
Abstract In the near future microprocessors will be found almost everywhere from cellular phones to washing machines and cars. Once these are connected via a (wireless) communication channel to each other and possibly to already existing static computers this could form an extremely dynamic wireless network which may not have access to an infrastructure or centralized administration. Such a network is often referred to as ad-hoc network. It is particularly useful where a reliable fixed or mobile infrastructure is not available – e.g., after a natural disaster – or too expensive. If the network consists of very small computing devices that are able to sensor their environment, such a network is called a sensor network. As ad-hoc and sensor networks become more a part of everyday life, they could become a threat if security is not considered before deployment. For instance, ad-hoc networks might be used to increase vehicle traffic safety. However, if there are any security vulnerabilities, this technology might be open to attackers and thus endanger passengers. Authentication in ad-hoc networks is a core requirement for secure protocols and secure applications of ad-hoc networks. Thus authentication in ad-hoc networks is the focus of this work. The security issues for ad-hoc networks and sensor networks are different than those for fixed networks. This is due to system constraints in mobile devices, frequent topology changes in the network, and the weak physical security of low-power devices. Moreover in sensor networks, the sensors are exposed to physical attacks such as power analysis and probing. Consequently, protocols need to be designed that are robust against a set of malicious devices as well as compromised secrets. The main goals and achievements of this thesis are as follows: (1) to give an overview of authentication schemes and analyze how well they are suited to ad-hoc networks; (2) to analyze how well digital signature schemes can be used in ad-hoc networks and to compare signature schemes for this purpose;(3) to propose two new extremely efficient authentication schemes for pairwise authentication that mainly use symmetric cryptographic primitives providing a basic form of authentication in sensor networks and certified identification in ad-hoc networks; and (4) an application of authentication providing component identification. Such component identification can be used as a countermeasure to faked components, e.g., for components of automobiles. As a result of this thesis, we recommend the following: First, protocols should be based as much as possible on an approach where trust associations are established to the local one-hop neighborhood only to avoid broadcast authentication schemes; and second, to design protocols that reduce the amount of asymmetric cryptography to a minimum. The protocols proposed in this thesis are a first step to achieve these goals.
E-Mail Address aweimerskirch (at)
Last Change 2011-04-17 23:46:48
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