Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the Global Telecommunications Conference (Globecom '99): 174-178. Copyright 1999, IEEE. Used by permission.


Scalable secure key distribution is the most important feature of a scalable secure group communication protocol. Most of the existing scalable secure group communication protocols are based on a hierarchical key distribution tree. These schemes can be classified as hierarchical node based schemes and hierarchical key based schemes. In this paper; we compare recently proposed hierarchical key distribution schemes through simulation using real-life multicast group membership traces. Our simulations show that hierarchical node based approaches better distribute encryption cost among the entities of a multicast group. However hierarchical node based schemes “trust” internal nodes of a key distribution tree. We show that the dual encryption protocol recently proposed by us overcomes the aforementioned limitation of hierarchical node based schemes, with a marginal performance penalty.