Mutual Authentication in Wimax Security using Diffie Hellman

Stephen Ochieng Oguta, S. Musyoki, K. Langat


Network security is becoming an area of concern with the expansion of wireless technology. Many businesses have lost a lot of money as a result of compromised network security. The Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) is one example of 3G technology which is getting popular. Most business establishemnst use WiMAX to network their communication equipments. The popularity of WiMAX and its security vulnarability are the key motivation for this study. Presently, PKM versions of authentication are used to secure WiMAX networks. The PKM authentication methods expose the WiMAX network to third party risks like Man in the Middle attacks, eavesdropping and jamming attacks.  WiMAX is thus vulnerable to network attacks that compromise the radio links between the communicating Subscriber Station (SS) and the serving Base Station (BS). The PKMv1 process involves a one sided authentication. The BS authenticates the SS but the SS has no capacity to authenticate a BS. As a result, a rogue BS can successfully enter the network of a SS without prevention. The rogue BS can then tap all the unencrypted management messages. This constitutes a major security flaw. The Man-In- The-Middle (MITM) attack exploits this weakness in the network by eavesdropping, interception and fabrication of the management messages, resulting in a breach in the reliability of the entire network. In this research, a modification of the Diffie-Hellman (DH) key exchange protocol is used to mitigate the man-in-the middle attack in WiMAX by modeling using the Dev C++ programming language. The DH protocol uses a unique algorithm whose solution must be obtained by both the SS and the BS for communication to be allowed. Both the BS and the SS are given an opportunity to authenticate one another before any communication can proceed.

Keywords: Diffie Hellman; Mutual Authentication; Security; WiMAX.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5782 ISSN (Online)2225-0506
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