Network Security

Over the last few years, Vehicular Ad hoc Networks (VANETs) have gained much attention within the automobile and research worlds. One reason is the interest in a growing number of applications designed for passenger safety such as emergency braking, traffic jam detection, cooperative driving as well as in applications aiming at the comfort of passengers, such as games, chat-rooms and vehicle data-sharing.
VANETs are highly dynamic ad hoc networks of devices with restricted access to a network infrastructure. Moreover, if base stations are sparsely deployed along the road, access is also of short duration due to vehicle speed. Since on-board applications need to exchange data, the communication security problem must be addressed. The absence of a permanently present infrastructure means that a decentralized security architecture is required. Given the safety critical nature of some VANET applications, the security architecture must imperatively prevent a malicious person from successfully launching an attack intending to provoke collisions between vehicles.
My main research area is mobile network security and includes design of privacy preserving solutions to secure communication between mobile nodes under specific constraints.

Anonymity in Trust Community

Another area of my research activity is how to provide anonymity of nodes in a trust community. More and more devices now have wireless capabilities. More and more people own mobile phones, personal digital assistants or other kind of mobile devices embedded in their vehicles for instance. All this devices can be organized in a network can join and leave the network at any time depending on their communication range. The notion of trust naturally appears in here: some nodes can establish long term trust relation for better communicating. Typically this allows exchanging sensitive data with trusted nodes only, while public data is exchanged with any node. In the same time privacy has become a serious concern in a variety of domains, including many typical application fields of Mobile Ad hoc NETwork: home networks, Personal Area Networks (PAN), vehicular networks (VANET), etc.
Privacy is more than just confidentiality of communications. The greater the ability of devices to communicate, the more they will disclose information about their configuration, their current state, or even just their presence. Malicious observers should not be able to trace the moves of a vehicle for a long period of time, simply based on its network communications.
Defining and formalizing what is anonymity, privacy and other properties of this type, is one of my current research field.