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Open Access Research

A formally verified AKA protocol for vertical handover in heterogeneous environments using Casper/FDR

Mahdi Aiash1*, Glenford Mapp1, Aboubaker Lasebae1, Raphael Phan2 and Jonathan Loo1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Engineering and Information Systems (EIS), Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT, UK

2 School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2012, 2012:57  doi:10.1186/1687-1499-2012-57

Published: 22 February 2012

Abstract

Next generation networks will comprise different wireless networks including cellular technologies, WLAN and indoor technologies. To support these heterogeneous environments, there is a need to consider a new design of the network infrastructure. Furthermore, this heterogeneous environment implies that future devices will need to roam between different networks using vertical handover techniques. When a mobile user moves into a new foreign network, data confidentiality and mutual authentication between the user and the network are vital issues in this heterogeneous environment. This article deals with these issues by first examining the implication of moving towards an open architecture, and then looking at how current approaches such as the 3GPP, HOKEY and mobile ethernet respond to the new environment while trying to address the security issue. The results indicate that a new authentication and key agreement protocol is required to secure handover in this environment. Casper/FDR, is used in the analysis and development of the protocol. The proposed protocol has been proven to be successful in this heterogeneous environment.

Keywords:
authentication and key agreement protocol; secure vertical handover; heterogeneous environments; Casper/FDR