Evaluating IP security and mobility on lightweight hardware

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Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences | Licentiate thesis
Telecommunications Software
Degree programme
(20+) 96
This work presents an empirical evaluation of applicability of selected existing IP security and mobility mechanisms to lightweight mobile devices and network components with limited resources and capabilities. In particular, we consider the Host Identity Protocol (HIP), recently specified by the IETF for achieving authentication, secure mobility and multihoming, data protection and prevention of several types of attacks. HIP uses the Diffie-Hellman protocol to establish a shared secret for two hosts, digital signatures to provide integrity of control plane and IPsec ESP encryption to protect user data. These computationally expensive operations might easily stress CPU, memory and battery resources of a lightweight client, as well as negatively affect data throughput and latency.We describe our porting experience with HIP on an embedded Linux PDA, a Symbian-based smartphone and two OpenWrt Wi-Fi access routers, thereby contributing to the protocol deployment. We present a set of measurement results of different HIP operations on these devices and evaluate the impact of public-key cryptography on the processor load, memory usage and battery lifetime, as well as the influence of the IPsec encryption on Round-Trip Time and TCP throughput. In addition, we assess how the lightweight hardware of a mobile handheld or a Wi-Fi access router in turn affects the duration of certain protocol operations including HIP base exchange, HIP mobility update, puzzle solving procedure and generation of an asymmetric key pair. After analyzing the empirical results we make conclusions and recommendations on applicability of unmodified HIP and IPsec to resource-constrained mobile devices. We also survey related work and draw parallels with our own research results.
Ylä-Jääski, Antti; Ahlgren, Bengt; Wehrle, Klaus
Thesis advisor
Gurtov, Andrei
IP, security, mobility, performance, lightweight hardware
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