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Secure Group Communication Using Robust Contributory Key Yair Amir Yongdae Kim Cristina Nita-Rotaru John Schultz

Summary: Secure Group Communication Using Robust Contributory Key

Yair Amir Yongdae Kim Cristina Nita-Rotaru John Schultz
Jonathan Stanton Gene Tsudik
Contributory group key agreement protocols generate group keys based on contributions of all group
members. Particularly appropriate for relatively small collaborative peer groups, these protocols are
resilient to many types of attacks. Unlike most group key distribution protocols, contributory group key
agreement protocols offer strong security properties, such as key independence and perfect forward se-
crecy. This paper presents the first robust contributory key agreement protocol resilient to any sequence
of group changes. The protocol, based on the Group Diffie-Hellman contributory key agreement, uses
the services of a group communication system supporting Virtual Synchrony semantics. We prove that
it provides both Virtual Synchrony and the security properties of Group Diffie-Hellman, in the presence
of any sequence of (potentially cascading) node failures, recoveries, network partitions and heals.
We implemented a secure group communication service, Secure Spread, based on our robust key
agreement protocol and Spread group communication system. To illustrate its practicality, we compare
the costs of establishing a secure group with the proposed protocol and a protocol based on centralized

This work was supported in part by a grant from the National Security Agency under the LUCITE program and by grant


Source: Amir, Yair - Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
Nita-Rotaru, Cristina - Department of Computer Sciences, Purdue University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences