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Authentication mechanism of network communication nodes based on information safety of the Internet of Vehicles/Soidukite Interneti infoturbepohine kommunikatsioonisolmede autentimismehhanism.


Volume capacity of automobiles has rapidly increased with the development of economy. Moreover, the problems of traffic jams and safety are becoming more and more prominent, which poses huge challenges to the society and economy. For the purpose of organizing the traffic system, the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) has emerged, which collects and combines data from different sectors. The Internet of Vehicles can help drivers obtain information about other vehicles and road condition [1] in order to effectively avoid traffic jams and accidents [2]. It can also provide office and entertainment services [3] to improve the driving experiment. It is a great revolution for the traffic system which has a very broad application prospect [4]. While releasing information, the IoV also needs to rapidly acquire relevant information in the network. Not only does it have to protect the information but it also needs to make safety certification on the received information. Bugs in information security will cause the loss of privacy and property, and may directly endanger the life of drivers. Therefore, information security is an important part of the IoV. To ensure the safe and stable development of the IoV, it is necessary to enhance its information security. Currently, studies on the IoV mainly concentrate on how to improve the operational efficiency of the IoV and the study on its information security issue is still slow to develop, but it has lately become the concern of an increasing number of researchers. The authentication of IoV communication nodes is an effective means of ensuring IoV information security. Cheng et al. [5] have proposed an authentication method which performed bilinear pairings on the elliptic curve and generated a signature through the vehicle node and roadside cell node. The analysis also verified that the scheme was unforgeable and had forward and backward security as well as high authentication efficiency. Wang et al. [6] have designed a two-factor lightweight privacy- preserving authentication scheme. Compared with other schemes, the computation cost of the scheme was 100-1000 times lower, the communication cost was 55.24-77.52% lower, and it had strong non-repudiation. Wang et al. [7] have used self-generated pseudo-identities to ensure privacy protection and then implemented message authentication codes to verify the messages. Compared with the public key based method, this particular method reduced the computational cost 102-103 times and the communication cost by 41.33-77.60%. Zhou et al. [8] have proposed an authentication method based on trust evaluation, which calculated the trustworthiness of vehicle nodes and detected malicious vehicles by the correlation coefficient. The simulation results showed that the method was effective. Currently, the authentication of IoV communication nodes has the problems of high time cost and poor real-time performance, which cannot satisfy the increasing demands for the IoV. In this study, a communication node authentication method based on elliptic curve cryptography was designed, and its correctness and time cost were analysed, proving the validity of the scheme. The present study provides some theoretical support for the application and promotion of the designed method for the IoV and makes some contributions to ensuring the information security of IOV.


The IoV achieves a comprehensive connection between people, vehicles, roads and the Internet, relying on information technology, so as to improve the level of automation and the intelligence of vehicles, and to enhance traffic efficiency and user experience [9]. The IoV is mainly composed of on-board units (OBU) on vehicles, roadside units (RSU) [10], trusted authority (TA) and a service provider (SP). There is cable communication between TA and SP and wireless communication between OBU and RSU, which is divided into Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I). The IoV has the characteristics of predictability, different network density, fast network topology change, large network scale, and strong computing power. As the IoV uses wireless communication mode, it will inevitably be subject to many threats and attacks, as shown in Table 1.

Network threats will lead to the development of security incidents. IoV security incidents can be roughly divided into (1) control of automotive power system: the attacker may invade the automobile system through IoV vulnerability, modify the instructions, and control the steering and braking of the automobile, which will seriously threaten the safety of the driver; (2) intrusion into driver's account: attackers may use IoV vulnerabilities to illegally obtain vehicle information, locate and unlock vehicles, as well as steal vehicles, resulting in property loss to the owners. Alternatively, they may even obtain owner information through monitoring and tracking.


3.1. Elliptic curve cryptography

The elliptic curve E([F.sub.q]) is the union set of the solution of the equation [y.sup.2] = [x.sup.3] + ax + b on the finite field [F.sub.q] and the point at infinity, which can be expressed as: [mathematical expression not reproducible], where q stands for a prime number. The set of points whose order on E is q and the generating element P is represented by the group [G.sub.q]. The operations on the elliptic curve include:

(1) Addition of points. Let us suppose that there are [P.sub.1] = ([x.sub.1], [y.sub.1]), [mathematical expression not reproducible] and [mathematical expression not reproducible], then [P.sub.1] + [P.sub.2] = ([x.sub.3], [y.sub.3]) [member of] E[[F.sub.q]).

(2) Scalar-multiplication of points: If P = (x, y) [not equal to] 0 and k is an integer, then kP = P + P + P+ *** + P, i.e. k-points are added up.

In elliptic curve cryptography, the point P= (x, y) on E([F.sub.p]) is taken as the public base point. The cryptosystem is established based on an Abelian group.

3.2. System establishment

TA is defined as: E : [y.sup.2] = [x.sup.3] +ax+b mod p, a,b [member of] [Z.sub.q]*. The group [G.sub.p] is selected on E. [S.sub.1], [S.sub.2] [member of] [Z.sup.*.sub.q] is randomly selected as the private key. Then the public key [mathematical expression not reproducible] is calculated. Next, four hash functions are selected by TA: [mathematical expression not reproducible]. The system parameter is [mathematical expression not reproducible]. A vehicle node needs to submit the identity RID and the password PWD. TA allocates a tamper-proof device (TPD) for the vehicle node. RID, PWD, the system private key [s.sub.1], [s.sub.2] and Paras are stored in TPD.

3.3. Pseudonym generation

In the process of pseudonym generation, the vehicle node Vi first inputs RIDi and PWDi into TPD. Then TPD tests them. The next step is taken only if they pass the test; otherwise, the operation stops. After testing, TPD generates two random numbers ri, ui and the timestamp [T.sub.i]. [R.sub.i] = [Pr.sub.i], [U.sub.i] = [Pu.sub.i], [mathematical expression not reproducible], [mathematical expression not reproducible] mod q and [mathematical expression not reproducible] mod q are calculated. Finally, [mathematical expression not reproducible] is obtained and sent to an OBU node.

The OBU node signs the message [M.sub.i]. The abstract [h.sub.i] = [h.sub.4] ([M.sub.i], [PID.sub.i], [T.sub.i], [R.sub.i], [U.sub.i]) and the signature [mathematical expression not reproducible] mod q are calculated. The vehicle node [V.sub.i] sends [M.sub.i] by pseudonym. The signature information at that time is [mathematical expression not reproducible]. Then the above information is broadcast by the vehicle node.

3.4. Message verification

The message [mathematical expression not reproducible] needs to be verified after being received. First, it is verified whether [T.sub.i] is fresh or not. If it is not, then the message is abandoned; if it is, the message is added to the batch authentication queue. To prevent an attack, a random small factor testing technique is introduced and the small integer sequence [mathematical expression not reproducible], where [xi] refers to the safety parameter of the random small factor, is taken as the random small factor. The following equation is used for verification:

[mathematical expression not reproducible] (1)

If the equation stands, then the signature is effective, and the received information can be accepted; otherwise, the signature is ineffective, and the message is abandoned.


4.1. Correctness analysis

It is obtained according to the parameters set in this paper that [mathematical expression not reproducible] mod p, [mathematical expression not reproducible] mod p, and [[delta].sub.1] = [SK.sup.1.sub.i] + [h.sub.i][SK.sup.2.sub.i] mod q.

The equ ation of message verif (i) ication is deduced as follows:

[mathematical expression not reproducible] (2)

The equation of message verification stands, which means that the authentication mechanism is correct.

4.2. Time-cost analysis

[T.sub.p]. is set as the operation time of a pair, [T.sub.mul] is set as the operation time of point multiplication, and [T.sub.mlp] as the operation time of MapToPoint hash function. The authentication mechanism is compared with the SPECS algorithm [11] and the b-SPECS algorithm [12]. The SPECS algorithm adopts batch certification, i.e. any vehicle is allowed to identity authentication with group members but cannot resist impersonation attack and needs extra cost because of the one-time pad mode. The b-SPECS algorithm is an improvement of the SPECS algorithm, but it also adopts the one-time pad mode, has low signature generation efficiency, and requires a high time cost because of performing pair operation two times in batch certification. The results of the algorithm comparison are given in Table 2.

Table 2 shows that the three methods have no significant difference in the signature generation, although the time consumed by the b-SPECS algorithm was slightly longer. In the verification of one signature, the time consumed by the SPECS and b-SPECS algorithms was the same, but the method proposed in this study did not need pair operation and less time was spent in the calculation of [T.sub.mlp]. In the verification of n signatures, the time consumed by the SPECS and b-SPECS algorithms was the same, and the verification time of the method proposed in this study was significantly shorter. Overall, the method presented in this study has a significant advantage in time cost, and thus can meet the authentication requirement of IoV communication nodes.

4.3. Analysis of authentication delay

To further analyse the performance of the method proposed in this study, the average time delay of the three algorithms is compared under different number of vehicles and speeds, and the results are shown in Tables 3 and 4.

Table 3 illustrates that the communication time delay shows an increasing tendency with the increase of the number of vehicles, but the average time delay of SPECS and b-SPECS is similar. By the example of b-SPECS one can observe that when the number of vehicles was 25, the average time delay was 0.035 s; when the number of vehicles was 150, the average time delay was 0.114 s, which was three times higher than before. By following the method proposed in this study one can notice that when the number of vehicles was 25, the average time delay was 0.031 s; when the number of vehicles was 150, the average time delay was 0.064 s, which was two times higher than before. It shows that the method presented in this study can effectively reduce the calculation process and time delay in the case of the increasing number of vehicles. Table 4 demonstrates that the change in the average time delay under different methods was small in relation to the change in the vehicle speed. When the vehicle speed increased from 0 m/s to 25 m/s, the average time delay of all the three methods increased by 0.004 s. However, the comparison of the three methods under the same speed shows that the average time delay of the method proposed in this study always maintained a gap of 0.02 s over the other two methods, which indicates the reliability of the above-mentioned method.


With the continuous development of the IoV, more and more vehicles are connected to the network [13]. The degree of intellectualization and networking of the IoV is constantly improving. The IoV can quickly obtain real-time traffic information through the Internet, share data, allocate road resources reasonably, improve traffic conditions [14], and effectively avoid traffic jams through traffic light regulation. However, due to the mobility openness and complexity of the IoV, its information security problem is becoming ever more serious [15]. Moreover, the information security issue will not only incur loss of information and property but will also endanger people's lives. Therefore, the study of the information security of IoV has important practical values. Public key cryptography plays a crucial role in information security [16]. Elliptic curve cryptography is one of the public key cryptographies [17] which has been applied in many fields [18]. For example, in the smartphone network, elliptic curve cryptography can realize secure communication with limited resources [19]; in the electronic payment system, elliptic curve cryptography can encrypt through identity authentication to improve the security of payment [20]. Compared with these applications, the complexity and openness of the IoV set higher requirements for encryption. Therefore, the application of elliptic curve cryptography in the IoV is more challenging. In this study, elliptic curve cryptography was applied to the authentication of IoV communication nodes, which provides a safe and efficient authentication scheme for the IoV, is con ducive to the large-scale application of the IoV, and can play a role in dispersing traffic and reducing traffic accidents.

The security authentication of communication nodes is mainly designed for vehicle nodes. It is difficult to authenticate vehicles as vehicles are in a state of high-speed movement in the network. Among the commonly used current authentication technologies, such as anonymous authentication, group signature authentication and so on, the time cost of the algorithm is a major difficulty. Therefore, in the design of the authentication scheme it is necessary to reduce the time cost as much as possible. First, elliptic curve cryptography is analysed, then it is applied to the identity authentication of IoV communication nodes, i.e. vehicle nodes, and finally the processes of system establishment, pseudonym generation and message verification are analysed. The results show that the authentication scheme designed in this paper can pass the correctness analysis and the message verification formula is valid. As regards the comparison of computing time, there is no significant difference in the signature generation time among the three methods. However, the computing time for signature verification by the method proposed in this study is significantly shorter than that of SPECS and b-SPECS, which proves the advantage of that method in computing time and shows that it produces faster computing compared to the other two methods. Therefore, the presented method has a greater advantage in the authentication of IoV communication nodes and can better meet the actual needs of the IoV. The analysis results of authentication time delay (Tables 3 and 4) reveal that the authentication time delay of the proposed method is always smaller than that of SPECS and b-SPECS with the change in the vehicle number and speed, which proves the reliability of the method.

Though the study of IoV communication nodes has some achievements, further study is still needed, particularly in the following aspects:

(1) RSU nodes need further optimization;

(2) The authentication mechanism requires further study to reduce encryption and decryption steps, and a more efficient authentication scheme should be searched for;

(3) Application in real IoV environment.


In view of the current information security problem of the IoV, this study has mainly analysed the authentication mechanism of communication nodes, applied the elliptic curve cryptography method to the IoV, introduced its authentication process, and made a performance analysis. It was established that the method proposed in this study could meet the correctness criterion, had low time cost, and could maintain a small time delay in the case of a large number of vehicles and high vehicle speed. The results of the performance analysis have verified the reliability of elliptic curve cryptography in communication node authentication. Therefore, it can be popularized and applied in practice.


The publication costs of this article were partially covered by the Estonian Academy of Sciences.


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José Rizal University, 80 Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong, Philippines; Taiyuan University of Technology, No. 79 West Street Yingze, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030024, China;

Received 8 September 2020, accepted 27 November 2020, available online 28 January 2021
Table 1. Main threats faced by the IoV

threat!           Denial-of-Service attacks: Attackers make users
                  unable to use the network, normally through
                  flooding, and prevent nodes from processing
                  information.! Black hole: Attackers refuse
                  to join or maliciously withdraw from the network,
                  causing the network link to be interrupted.!
                  Broadcast intervention: Attackers publish
                  false information in the network, affecting
                  user judgment.!
threat!           Replay attack: Attackers redistribute previous
                  information to the network, destroying the
                  routing strategy of the mobile node.!
                  Information tampering: Attackers modify
                  the information between V2V and V2I,
                  causing network damage.!
                  Location spoofing: Attackers modify
                  or forge their location and send it to the
                  network to destroy the network.!
threat!           Attackers eavesdrop and steal user
                  information without the user's consent.!

Table 2. Comparison of calculation time between different methods

Algorithm!               SPECS

Generation of signature  [4T.sub.mul] + [2T.sub.mlp]
Verifying one signature  [2T.sub.p] + [2T.sub.mul] + [2T.sub.mlp]
Verifying n signatures   [2T.sub.p]+ [2nT.sub.mul]+ [2T.sub.mlp]

Algorithm!               b-SPECS

Generation of signature  [5T.sub.mul] + [2T.sub.mlp]
Verifying one signature  [2T.sub.p] + [2T.sub.mul] + [2T.sub.mlp]
Verifying n signatures   [2T.sub.p]+ [2nT.sub.mul]+ [2T.sub.mlp]

Algorithm!               Method proposed in this study

Generation of signature  [4T.sub.mul] + [2T.sub.mlp]
Verifying one signature  [2T.sub.mul] + [T.sub.mlp]
Verifying n signatures   2n[T.sub.mul] + n[T.sub.mlp]

Table 3. Influence of the number of vehicles on the average time delay

Number of vehicles/n              25     50     75     100

Average time delay of SPECS/s     0.033  0.048  0.051  0.068
Average time delay of b-SPECS/s   0.035  0.047  0.052  0.069
Average time delay of the method  0.031  0.035  0.042  0.045
proposed in this study

Number of vehicles/n              125    150

Average time delay of SPECS/s     0.073  0.112
Average time delay of b-SPECS/s   0.072  0.114
Average time delay of the method  0.051  0.064
proposed in this study

Table 4. Influence of vehicle speed on the average time delay

Speed of vehicle (m/s)            0      5      10     15

Average time delay of SPECS/s     0.071  0.072  0.072  0.073
Average time delay of b-SPECS/s   0.071  0.073  0.073  0.074
Average time delay of the method  0.051  0.052  0.052  0.053
proposed in this study/s

Speed of vehicle (m/s)             20     25

Average time delay of SPECS/s      0.074  0.075
Average time delay of b-SPECS/s    0.074  0.075
Average time delay of the method   0.055  0.055
proposed in this study/s
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Author:Wu, Qiong
Publication:Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences
Date:Mar 1, 2021
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