Homomorphic MACs: MAC-Based Integrity for Network Coding

Authors: S. Agrawal and D. Boneh

Network coding has been shown to improve the capacity and robustness in networks. However, since intermediate nodes modify packets en-route, integrity of data cannot be checked using traditional MACs and checksums. In addition, network coded systems are vulnerable to pollution attacks where a single malicious node can flood the network with bad packets and prevent the receiver from decoding the packets correctly. Signature schemes have been proposed to thwart such attacks, but they tend to be too slow for online per-packet integrity. Here we propose a homomorphic MAC which allows checking the integrity of network coded data. Our homomorphic MAC is designed as a drop-in replacement for traditional MACs (such as HMAC) in systems using network coding.

In proceedings of ACNS 2009, LNCS 5536, pp. 292-305

Full paper: pdf