Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)


Computer Science

Document Type



The convergence of cellular and IP technologies has pushed the integration of 3G and WLAN networks to the forefront. With 3G networks' failure to deliver feasible bandwidth to the customer and the emerging popularity, ease of use and high throughput of 802.11 WLANs, integrating secure access to 3G services from WLANs has become a primary focus. 3G user authentication initiated from WLANs has been defined by an enhancement to the extensible authentication protocol, EAP, used to transport user authentication requests over WLANs. The EAP-AKA protocol executes the 3G USIM user challenge and response authentication process over the IP backbone for WLAN serving networks. To improve the degree of control of 3G subscribers, spatial control has been proposed for 3G-WLAN user authentication. Successful execution of 3G security algorithms can be limited to a specified area by encrypting a user's authentication challenge with spatial data defining his/her visited WLAN. With 3G networks' limited capacity to determine a user's location to the granularity of a small WLAN area and restricted access to users' location due to privacy, 3G operators must rely on spatial data sent from visited WLANs to implement control for authentication. The risks of implementing EAP-AKA spatial control by 3G operators with no prior relationship or trust for serving WLAN networks are presented in this paper. An ad-hoc architecture is proposed for serving networks in 3G-WLAN integration and the advantages of this architecture that facilitate secure 3G user authentication are identified. Algorithms are proposed to define robust trust relationships between the parties in 3G-WLAN networks. The security of 3G user authentication is further protected by new mechanisms defined that are based on the quality of trust established between parties.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Arjan Durresi