Blockchain-Enabled Authentication Handover with Efficient Privacy Protection in SDN-Based 5G Networks


Software Engineering and Game Development

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5G mobile networks provide additional benefits in terms of lower latency, higher data rates, and more coverage, in comparison to 4G networks, and they are also coming close to standardization. For example, 5G has a new level of data transfer and processing speed that assures users are not disconnected when they move from one cell to another; thus, supporting faster connection. However, 5G comes with its own technical challenges, such as those relating to authentication handover and user privacy protection. In 5G, for example, the frequent displacement of the users among the cells as a result of repeated authentication handovers often lead to a delay, contradicting the 5G objectives. Using inefficient authentication handover could also cause performance degradation among heterogeneous 5G cells, and increases the possibility of occurring user privacy and security issues. In this paper, we propose a new authentication approach that utilizes blockchain and software defined networking (SDN) techniques to remove the unnecessary re-authentication in repeated handover among heterogeneous cells. The proposed approach is designed to assure the low delay, appropriate for the 5G network in which users are replaced with the least delay among heterogeneous cells using their public and private keys provided by the devised blockchain component while protecting their privacy. In our comparison between Proof-of-Work (POW)-based and network-based models, the delay of our authentication handover is shown to be less than 1 ms. Also, our approach demonstrates less signaling overhead and energy consumption compared to peer models.

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IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering





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