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Proceedings Paper

Simple algorithm for improved security in the FDDI protocol
Author(s): G. M. Lundy; Benjamin Jones
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Paper Abstract

We propose a modification to the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) protocol based on a simple algorithm which will improve confidential communication capability. This proposed modification provides a simple and reliable system which exploits some of the inherent security properties in a fiber optic ring network. This method differs from conventional methods in that end to end encryption can be facilitated at the media access control sublayer of the data link layer in the OSI network model. Our method is based on a variation of the bit stream cipher method. The transmitting station takes the intended confidential message and uses a simple modulo two addition operation against an initialization vector. The encrypted message is virtually unbreakable without the initialization vector. None of the stations on the ring will have access to both the encrypted message and the initialization vector except the transmitting and receiving stations. The generation of the initialization vector is unique for each confidential transmission and thus provides a unique approach to the key distribution problem. The FDDI protocol is of particular interest to the military in terms of LAN/MAN implementations. Both the Army and the Navy are considering the standard as the basis for future network systems. A simple and reliable security mechanism with the potential to support realtime communications is a necessary consideration in the implementation of these systems. The proposed method offers several advantages over traditional methods in terms of speed, reliability, and standardization.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 1993
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1784, High-Speed Fiber Networks and Channels II, (9 February 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.141087
Show Author Affiliations
G. M. Lundy, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)
Benjamin Jones, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1784:
High-Speed Fiber Networks and Channels II
Kadiresan Annamalai, Editor(s)

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