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Cryptographic security designs and hardware architectures for wireless local area networks

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTampere
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages124
ISBN (Electronic) 952-15-1736-0
ISBN (Print)952-15-1685-2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2006
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) have developed to widely utilized technologies for short-range telecommunications. While the technologies enable various new services, the wireless environment and the constraints of WLAN devices set new requirements for network security and its realization. In addition to a security specification, a security processing implementation has a key role in protecting WLANs. This Thesis presents designs and implementations for protecting WLANs using cryptographic mechanisms. The focus of the Thesis is on the security of the standard WLAN technologies which have recently been driving the markets and the research work. The technologies, their problems, and proposed improvements are surveyed. A design specifically addressing the vulnerabilities of Bluetooth is presented. Furthermore, designs for protecting stored data and maintaining time synchronization in WLANs are developed. The generally accepted security design practices and the constraints of the WLAN devices are respected throughout the presented designs. Cryptographic software implementations cannot often provide security with high performance and usability while meeting the restrictions of WLAN devices. Therefore, the Thesis presents cryptographic hardware architectures that can efficiently be used for securing WLANs. The architectures support the cryptographic mechanisms of the standard WLANs as well as the mechanisms proposed in the Thesis. Several solutions providing different trade-offs between performance and resource consumption are developed for Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES), and RC4 as well as for the modular exponentiation of public-key schemes. Related implementations are surveyed and compared. As an example of a full, security-oriented application, the separate components are integrated into a novel wireless Real-Time Betting (RTB) application. It utilizes the security designs and implementations on the wireless data link layer as well as on the application layer in order to support efficient embedded terminal implementations. The RTB application is especially seen well-suited for providing local services through WLANs.

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