Cryptographic techniques for personal communication systems security

  • John C. Cooke

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The advent of personal communication systems within the last decade has depended upon the utilization of advanced digital schemes for source and channel coding and for modulation. The inherent digital nature of the communications processing has allowed the convenient incorporation of cryptographic techniques to implement security in these communications systems. There are various security requirements, of both the service provider and the mobile subscriber, which may be provided for in a personal communications system. Such security provisions include the privacy of user data, the authentication of communicating parties, the provision for data integrity, and the provision for both location confidentiality and party anonymity. This thesis is concerned with an investigation of the private-key and public-key cryptographic techniques pertinent to the security requirements of personal communication systems and an analysis of the security provisions of Second-Generation personal communication systems is presented. Particular attention has been paid to the properties of the cryptographic protocols which have been employed in current Second-Generation systems. It has been found that certain security-related protocols implemented in the Second-Generation systems have specific weaknesses. A theoretical evaluation of these protocols has been performed using formal analysis techniques and certain assumptions made during the development of the systems are shown to contribute to the security weaknesses. Various attack scenarios which exploit these protocol weaknesses are presented. The Fiat-Sharmir zero-knowledge cryptosystem is presented as an example of how asymmetric algorithm cryptography may be employed as part of an improved security solution. Various modifications to this cryptosystem have been evaluated and their critical parameters are shown to be capable of being optimized to suit a particular applications. The implementation of such a system using current smart card technology has been evaluated.
Date of Award1995
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorR.L. Brewster (Supervisor)


  • advanced digital schemes
  • coding
  • modulation
  • plement security
  • authentication
  • cryptographic protocols
  • algorithm

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