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<p>Knowledge exchange and information access in a truly distributed network often require transmitting of data through open media. Consequently, data presented through such an environment are vulnerable to attacks. To minimize such vulnerability, data transformation or encryption/decryption techniques are often utilized among senders and receivers to achieve secure communication. Since data encryption/decryption requires sharing of a secret session key, finding an efficient way to distribute the session key in a large-scale, truly distributed network has been a nontrivial task. This paper presents a protocol for efficiently distributing session keys in such an environment to establish a secure channel. We assume the target network consists of many locally trusted centers, and each center has many users attached to it. The scheme incorporates the public-key distribution concept and the RSA encryption scheme as the basic mathematical tools, but eliminates the storage problem associated with huge public-key files. In addition, the proposed scheme has the added feature of providing the authenticate session key to the two parties in a secure communication.</p>
telecommunication channels; security of data; public key cryptography; computer networks; protocols; protocol; secure communication channels; open media; knowledge exchange; information access; large distributed network; data attack vulnerability; data transformation; data encryption/decryption techniques; secret session key; key distribution; locally trusted centers; multi-user system; public-key distribution; RSA encryption scheme; data storage; authentication

D. Huang and L. Harn, "A Protocol for Establishing Secure Communication Channels in a Large Network," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 6, no. , pp. 188-191, 1994.
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