Securing m-Government Transmission Based on Symmetric and Asymmetric Algorithms: A Review
Several changes have taken place in the field of communication technologies (ICT) in recent years, specifically in the era of rapid technology development. Mobile technologies, especially smart phones, have replaced computers in various significant tasks. This development influenced the interactions between citizens and government agencies in m-Government. m-Government is an extension of e-Government, which provides services to citizens in general or to subscribers in particular. These services range from public to private bodies and the data transmitted sometimes require authentication and confidentiality. Thus, the need for data security is inevitable. This study will discuss the security of m-Government using security algorithms and report some literature work in this field to highlight its weaknesses.
Received: January 19, 2013;
Accepted: March 12, 2013;
Published: July 01, 2013
Establishing communication or becoming the middle-medium between
different government agencies and citizens has become indispensable in this
century. This situation can be observed in the last century before the invention
of mobile and wireless networks. The rapid development of technology and communication
infrastructure that forces human affairs and businesses to adopt and deal with
the development as the core aspect of processes in terms of business, communication,
information and technology (Hmood et al., 2010).
The m-Government (Mobile Government) can be considered as an opportunity in
the transformational government strategy. SMS (short message service) can act
as one of the avenues through which m-Government transactions can be conducted.
Dealing with such topic indicates the several dimensions involved, which is
becoming more complicated due to the increasing number of important issues that
should be considered, including privacy, authentication and confidentiality.
Important demands of these services must be considered to meet the needs of
clients or citizens. To achieve this, several security algorithms have been
implemented to satisfy these needs. Requirements are dictated in specific security
systems. Some have been used as powerful tools for encryption and some have
been broken or even anticipated to be broken soon.
MOBILE GOVERNMENT (M-GOVERNMENT)
To avoid the overlap between e-Government and m-government, it is important
to show the distinction between the two. E-Government refers to the government's
use of information technology to send and receive information and provide services
to citizens. In other words, e-Government refers to the use of wired Internet
technology in public organizations to provide better services efficiently (OECD-ITU,
2011). At present, mobile technology have enabled governments to improve
their capacity to provide benefits and deliver outcomes to citizens and businesses,
as well as to create a positive impact on the national economic growth. Developing
countries will significantly benefit this development because they have been
historically restricted by poor or non-existent communication infrastructure
that, which in turn has stunted their economic development and social improvements.
However, m-Government will also provide countries with more developed e-Governments
and the opportunity to tackle a number of issues. These issues are related to
the digital-divide, which remains a critical factor in the levels of services
delivered by e-Government (OECD-ITU, 2011). M-Government
can also be regarded as a strategy that employs wireless and mobile technologies,
applications and devices towards enhancing the quality of service delivery to
all e-Government key players including citizens, business organizations and
a variety of government departments (Abramowicz et al.,
The most prominent strength of m-Government services is ubiquity, a concept
used to describe the provision of information and services at whichever place
and time. This feature upholds the idea of personalization, ease of use, time
and cost saving and services based on various locations. Several countries have
become strong advocates of m-Government services, such as the USA, the UK, Singapore,
Malaysia and Australia. In an e-Government transaction, the involved parties
are securely authenticated and any transmitted information is treated with confidentiality
and integrity. These security requirements have been emphasized and made more
significant with the emergence of m-Government because the wireless interfaces
have verified security deficiency if drawn in comparison with their wired counterparts.
Additionally, the ever-increasing storage and processing capabilities of mobile
devices have seized the attention of malevolent programmers and hackers all
over the world (OECD-ITU, 2011).
In general, four major models of m-Government have emerged, namely, government-to-citizens
(G2C), government-to-government (G2G), government-to-business (G2B) and government-to-employees
(G2E). Mobile applications and services largely constitute government-to-citizens
(G2C) services. Nonetheless, G2G, G2B and G2E m-government services are also
established. This study concentrates on government-to-citizens (G2C) services
as a core approach. Whether or not these services are interactive (e.g., alert
messages), educational (e.g., grades, admissions, exam results), or transactional
(e.g., bank account info), they must be secured against different types of attacks
and breaching (OECD-ITU, 2011; Bellovin,
Ensuring the safety of information and data transfer between government mobile
agents and users is important. Issues pertinent to this process consist of methods
of first-degree security of the medium of transfer, the applicability of cryptosystem
algorithms in protecting data transmission, issues with regards of speed, power
and time duration that have persisted before the attackers have come up with
ways to break the encryption of a particular algorithms. Mukherjee
and Biswas (2005) developed a framework of implementation for government
services to different parties, namely, citizens, businesses and governments.
This implementation framework embodies two guidelines. That is, the network
architecture for m-Government and the implementation methodology for its services
to a variety of parties, particularly the citizens. El Kiki
and Lawrence (2006) initiated a tailored model for real-time, ever-present
mobile government, modified from the phases of growth model and the five stages
framework. The purpose of this model is to place emphasis on the fast-paced
expansion and uptake of wireless technology. In (Brucher
and Baumberger, 2003) explained the role of mobile technology in processes
of democracy and outlined the legal constraints, technical and political requirements.
In specific, they have also provided evidence of the fact that mobile devices
can contribute to the deterioration of the flaw of the democratic process made
available by non -mobile gadgets. Yun and Chen (2000)
broached a new data into the mining capability of mobile commerce environment.
To mirror the patterns of customer usage in the particular environment, they
suggested a novel mining model, known as the mining mobile sequential patterns,
which pays attention to both customer movement and purchase patterns. M-government
services have its appeal to law enforcements, firefighting emergency medical
services, education, sport, financial, health and transportation (Zalesak,
Before the advent of technology, information security was a primitive procedure
for physical objects and other classified documents, as the primary threats
were physical theft of devices and espionage on system products (Naji
et al., 2011). Exploration of the history of information security
reveals that several attempts have been made to secure messages. For example,
ancient Mesopotamians wrote a private message in cuneiform script on a fresh
clay tablet, which was exposed to the sun to dry. This tablet was then enclosed
in a clay envelope on which the addressee's name was written (Kartalopoulos,
2009). Bellow, Fig. 1 gives idea on how simple authentication
used to be carried out (German, 2012).
||Clay tablets enclosed in clay envelopes assures the secrecy
and authenticity of the message (German, 2012)
A sound summarization of the foundation of computer security at the end of
the 1960s (Ware, 1998). Information security is the procedure
of protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access,
disruption, disclosure, destruction or modification (Kissel,
2011). The origin of this term comes from the terms commonly used in computer
security and information assurance. These terms are used interchangeably in
the field of security, which indicates its interrelation. Moreover, these terms
share the target of protecting the confidentiality, availability and integrity
of information. However, subtle differences exist between them. Differences
among those subjects can be seen in terms of the focus and strategies employed
to protect data and information. Information security focuses on protecting
and securing the content of the information using various tools and tactics.
This process is also concerned with the security of application and infrastructure.
Information assurance focuses on managing the risk and the processes of storage
and transmission of data. Notably, information security and information assurance
emerged from the concept of computer security as the foundation of security
field. Computer security focuses on protecting the system infrastructure and
ensuring the safety of the system with less concern about the processes or the
data being stored (Feruza and Kim, 2007). Information
security regulations is concerned with securing the target information from
any illegal access, or providing concession for the system from unauthorized
log-in (Stevens, 2010). The policy of data infringement
comprises of subjects linked to situations of external, internal, handling and
reports of information infringement (Harris, 1997).
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines confidential as "containing information
whose unauthorized disclosure could be prejudicial to the national interest."
The term also means keeping information away from disclosure and providing methods
of protecting information and personal privacy in a secure manner. Confidentiality
prohibits unauthorized access or disclosure of private information, either by
a person or a system. Assessing, using, copying, or disclosing confidential
information should only be conducted by an authorized guide and only when there
is an actual need (Pappas, 2008; Zaidan
et al., 2011).
Confidentiality is breached when information system or confidential information
is accessed or might be accessed, copied, used, or disclosed by any unauthorized
person for certain information (Pal, 2008). This is applicable
when writing confidential information on a piece of paper and someone is looking.
This situation qualifies as abuse of privacy if the person is not allowed to
look, let alone read the information. Another example of abuse of privacy
is the disclosure of confidential data over the telephone when the caller is
not authorized to obtain that information (Feruza and Kim,
The authentication service ensures that the communication is authentic. The
primary aim of this process is to keep information genuine and original. Information
is usually stored in the form of paper documents, videos, or digital CDs. The
task of an authentication service is to ensure that documents are not faked
or fabricated (Lhotska and Aubrecht, 2008). In information
security, e-Business and computing, it is important to ensure the authentication
of data communication, transaction or documents (physical or electronic). The
term "authentication" also includes the authenticity of the sender, receiver,
or all parties connected with the information communication processes (Feruza
and Kim, 2007; Lhotska and Aubrecht, 2008). In common
occurrences, the authentication process works well in validating the information
source and running a check on its originality. This process is materialized
by cryptographic checksums known as authentication code, which is computed with
a reference made to an endorsed cryptographic algorithm. The other name for
authentication code is message authentication code. Alternatively, a message
authentication code is a one-way hash function, wherein the calculation is derived
from a message and a secret key. The strength of the code lies in the secret
key. Forging this code is almost impossible if the secret key is not known or
revealed (Kartalopoulos, 2009).
Recognizing the value of information and expected attacks from these unauthorized parties and then defining the correct procedures and guarding the requirements for the information are the most important parts of information security. Information security is classified at varying levels. Some information requires higher level of protection such as top secret information. This type of information needs highly secure software systems with different levels of security. In responding to guarding information, the authentication between different parties must be established and well-defined. Two specific authentication services are defined in X.800 (security recommendation):
||Peer entity authentication helps in the identity validation
of a peer entity in an association. Two entities shall be perceived as peers
if they enforce the same protocol in varying systems, e.g., two TCP modules
in two communicating systems. Peer entity authentication would be applied
on the phase where data will be transferred in a connection. This method
assures that a mock-up entity or a prohibited replay of a connection made
earlier does not exist
||Data origin authentication contributes to the justification of the data
unit source. The method does not offer any protection against replicated
or altered data units. This kind of service would be used compatibly in
applications like electronic mail, where there are no previous interactions
taking place between the communicating entities (Stallings,
Cryptography is the science securing messages (Zaidan et
al., 2010d). The encryption system does not differentiate between authorized
and unauthorized users if both parties provide the same decryption key (Zaidan
et al., 2010e; Salem et al., 2011).
Therefore, encryption on its own will not provide security. Encryption and decryption
must be governed by a proper process (Nabi et al.,
2010). Accurate data on the cost of failures in the security of the information
infrastructure are not available because the victims rarely publicize security
compromises. This situation is attributed to fear of embarrassment and incurring
punitive damages for inadequate protection of private information or loss of
business (Pathan et al., 2006; Zaidan
et al., 2010a, b). The bellow Fig.
2 explains about cryptography and its types.
A cryptosystem supplies the encryption and decryption and it can be created
in hardware components or program codes available in an application. The cryptosystem
manipulates an encryption algorithm, which ascertains the simplicity or complexity
of a process. The majority of algorithms are naturally complex mathematical
formulas, which take up a certain sequence to the plaintext. Most encryption
methods are equipped with a secret value known as a key (usually a long string
of bits), which works with the algorithm in text encryption and decryption (Patil
and Shaligram, 2010). In light of the algorithms that have fulfilled the
purpose of encryption, cryptography employs either one key for encryption and
decryption or two keys for both purposes.
In this study, cryptography is mostly concerned with security algorithms and
its built system in terms of encryption and decryption performance. A comparative
study among different cryptographic algorithms (symmetric and asymmetric) must
be conducted to choose the appropriate algorithms to secure the transfer medium
in m-Government. Different algorithms provide different levels of security depending
on its robustness. Different criteria are used to determine the risk of breaking
|| Cryptography types and classification of security algorithms
|| Messages transmission (encryption and decryption)
For example, if the time required to break an algorithm is longer than the
time needed to keep the encrypted data secret, then the algorithm is seen to
be secure. Figure 3 illustrate the mechanism of altering messages
between the communicating parties.
SYMMETRIC CRYPTOGRAPHY ALGORITHMS
The secret key, which is a single key that is used to encrypt and decrypt texts,
should be first defined before defining the symmetric cryptography algorithm
(Abomhara et al., 2010a). This process is also
known as secret-key cryptography. Symmetric algorithms, which can also be labeled
as conventional algorithms, are algorithms, wherein the encryption key can be
computed from the decryption key and works the opposite way. The encryption
key and the decryption key in several symmetric algorithms do not show any difference.
These algorithms, which are also called secret-key algorithms, single key algorithms,
or one-key algorithms, are pre-conditioned that the sender and receiver would
come to a mutual decision on a key before communication can safely take place.
The protection offered by a symmetric algorithm is vested within the key. Exposing
the key would imply that anyone can encrypt and decrypt countless number of
messages. Provided that the communication should stay discreet, it is imperative
that the key must also remain as such (Schneier, 1996).
To exemplify this further, if Dan intends to talk to Norm as an introduction,
Dan has to find ways on how to provide Norm with the correct key. He is aware
that sending the key in an e-mail message would be risky because the key is
far from safe and it can be easily intervened and manipulated by roaming attackers.
Dan realizes that he has to deliver the key to Norm through an external method.
Dan thinks that he can save the key on a floppy disc and saunter off to Norms
desk, send it to him through the normal, slow mail, or have a dependable carrier
send it to Norm. This method is inconvenient and vulnerable to danger as both
users would make use of the same key to encrypt and decrypt. The mechanism of
exchanging secret key is shown in Fig. 4 (Microsoft
In this situation, the symmetric cryptography suffers from some drawbacks.
For example, the process of exchanging the secret key requires high level of
trust as the process of choosing, delivering and storing the secret key in a
secure and dependent manner is not easy. Symmetric key encryption also lacks
authentication service. In other words, the recipient can neither authenticate
the sender nor verify that the decrypted message is the same as the original
message (Yadav, 2010).
Several algorithms have been deployed for the purpose of securing wireless networks. In this section, the researcher compares the DES (Data Encryption Standard), 3DES (triple Data Encryption Standard) and AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). By drawing this comparison, the analysis of this comparative study will decide on the best algorithm among the three algorithms.
The level of security of an encryption algorithm is calculated by the key space
size (Brucher and Baumberger, 2003). The larger the
key space, the more time the attacker needs to search the key space extensively,
which would lead to higher security level. The key in encryption denotes the
piece of information (value that comprises a large sequence of random bits),
which specifically outlines the specific transformation from the plaintext to
ciphertext, or vice versa during decryption. Encryption key shows its dependency
on the key space, which is the range of the values that can be manipulated to
put a key together. The larger the key space, the more possible keys can be
built (e.g., today it is commonplace to use key sizes of 128, 192 or 256 bit.
Thus, key size of 256 would bring a 2256 key space) (Naji
et al., 2009a).
Cryptosystem utilizes an encryption algorithm that discerns the level of simplicity
or complexity of the encryption process, the indispensable software component
and the key (normally a long string of bits), which collaborate with the algorithm
towards encrypting and decrypting the data (Naji et al.,
Data encryption standard (DES): DES is a cipher, an approach adopted to encrypt information. This code was favored to be the official Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for the United States in 1976 and has been used in international domains. The algorithm started off with a spark of controversy, but equipped with some confidential elements of design, a short key length and the rising distrust over a National Security Agency (NSA) backdoor. In effect, the DES had been placed under extreme academic enquiry and it further boosted the modern understanding regarding block ciphers and their cryptanalysis. DES is currently considered unprotected for various applications, which is best explained by the 56-bit key size, which is too small, which allows DES keys to be breached in less than 24 h.
Some methodical results also provide proof of the theoretical flaw in the cipher,
although they are simply not feasible to mount in practice. The algorithm is
deemed practically safe in the form of Triple DES despite the theoretical attacks
that have ensued. Several years earlier, the cipher was outmoded by the Advanced
Encryption Standard (Naji et al., 2009c).
Since the adoption of DES, speculation has been rife that a certain backdoor
was created into the cryptic S-boxes that would permit those who have the knowledge
to crack DES successfully. Such speculation has been proven inoperative over
time. Irrespective of any backdoors in the hash function, the rapid progress
in the electronic circuitry speed in past two decades along with the natural
parallelism upheld in the Feistel ciphers and the relatively small key of the
DES have led to the algorithm becoming obsolete. In 1998, the Electronic Frontier
Foundation constructed a DES Cracker (full specifications are available online)
for less than $250,000. The cracker could decode DES messages within the period
of not more than a week (Zaidan et al., 2009a;
Triple DES: Triple DES has undergone further developments to overcome
some apparent shortcomings without having to create an entirely new cryptosystem.
Triple DES works on the key size of DES by applying the algorithm three times
in succession with three varying keys. The shared key size is 168-bits (3 times
56), which cannot be reached by brute-force techniques such as those used by
the EFF DES Cracker. Triple DES has always been treated suspiciously, because
the original algorithm was never intended to be employed as such, but no severe
weaknesses have been revealed in its design. Today, it serves as a cryptosystem
prevalent in several Internet protocols (Abomhara et
Advanced encryption standard (AES)/Rijndael: Towards the end of the
1990s, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) organized
a competition that aimed to develop a substitute for DES. The winner, which
was announced in 2001, was called the Rijndael (pronounced "rhine-doll") algorithm,
which gradually manifested itself as the new Advanced Encryption Standard. Rijndael
integrates the Substitution-permutation Network (SPN) model by adopting the
Galios field operations in each round. Rijndael shares a slight resemblance
with the RSA modulo arithmetic operations. The Galios field operations have
been demonstrated as rather nonsensical, but they can be inverted in a mathematical
manner. By nature, the security of AES is not absolute, particularly in the
area where it depicts a correlation between time and cost (Alam
et al., 2010). Any questions raised on encryption security should
be along the lines of how long and how costly it will be for an attacker to
discover a key. It has been hypothesized that military intelligence services
potentially have the technical and economic revenues to attack keys equivalent
to about 90 bits, although any ordinary researcher with any kind of exposure
would also possess such capability. The actual systems have demonstrated that
today, within the limits of a commercial budget of about 1 million dollars,
a system can administer key lengths of approximately 70 bits. A rough estimate
on the rate of technological advancement is expressed within the assumption
that technologies will doubly increase the speed of computing devices annually
at a static cost. If this is accurate, in theory, 128 bit keys would be in the
range of a military budget in 30-40 years time. To illustrate this, the
current status for AES is shown here, where it is presumed that an attacker
is capable of building or purchasing a system that computes keys at one billion
keys per second. At the very least, this is 1000 times faster than the fastest
personal computer ever sold in 2004. Under this unfounded premise, the attacker
will require about 10 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 years to try all potential
keys for the version with prominent weakness, which is AES-128. Thus, the key
length should be selected after reaching a decision on how long the security
is required and at what price it is to contain a secret key. In some military
predispositions, security is seen to be endured in a matter of hours or days,
as after a war or particular mission has ended, the information would be cast
aside as uninteresting and valueless. Nonetheless, in other incidences, a lifetime
may not be that time-consuming. To date, there is no evidence that AES has any
limitations in terms of launching any sort of attack other than making the performance
of a rather thorough search, i.e. brute force, probable. Even AES-128 has put
forward a large number of possible keys that are regarded sufficient, altogether
implying the impracticality of an exhaustive search. This is based on the proviso
that no technological infiltration that could lead to a drastic increase in
the availability of computational power and that theoretical studies do not
resort to shorter procedures that remove the necessity of an exhaustive search.
Relevant programmers need to be reminded of the variety of shortcomings, to
steer clear of the time the encryption comes into practice and keys are produced
(Zaidan et al., 2010c). It is essential to ensure
that every implementation is secure. However, this is a tough call because expertise
would be needed to examine the implementation in detail and with great care.
Any particular implementation should undergo an important aspect of assessment
to ensure that such examination has been conducted, or can be carried out (Naji
et al., 2009c; Alanazi et al., 2010c).
Comparison of symmetric encryption AES, 3DES AND DES: Advance Encryption
Standard (AES) and Triple DES (TDES or 3DES) are the most common block ciphers
used. The use of either AES or 3DES relies on the particular need of the user.
This section will place focus on the differences of the two systems, particularly
in terms of security and performance. As Triple DES works based on the DES algorithm,
this section will first elaborate on the DES. The development of the DES in
1977 was carefully piloted to demonstrate better performance in hardware than
it would be in the software. The DES performs considerable bit manipulation
in substitution and permutation boxes in every one of the 16 rounds. For example,
switching bit 30 with 16 is much easier in hardware than its software counterpart.
DES encrypts data in 64 bit block size and effectively benefits from a 56 bit
key. A 56-bit key space totals up to 72 quadrillion possibilities, in estimation.
Although seemingly large, with contemporary computing power, this size is still
insufficient and still susceptible to brute force attack. The DES could not
keep abreast with the latest technological updates and is no longer considered
suitable for security. As DES used to be wildly popular, an immediate way to
solve this problem was to introduce Triple DES, which is sufficiently adaptable
for most purposes today. The Triple DES is a built-up of the DES application
three times in sequence. The system (Triple DES) with three varying keys (K1,
K2 and K3) has effectual key length of 168-bits (the use of three distinct keys
is advisable for 3DES). Another variation is labeled the two-key (K1 and K3
is same) 3DES, has a lower effective key size of 112 bits, which is not very
secure. Two-key 3DES is widely used in the electronic payment industry. Moreover,
Triple DES takes thrice as much CPU power than its antecedent counterpart, which
has a more significant performance reputation. The AES also outperforms 3DES
both in software and hardware (Arenas et al., 2008;
Barker and Roginsky, 2011).
The Rijndael algorithm is chosen as the Advance Encryption Standard (AES) to
take over the 3DES. Rijndael is the brainchild of Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen.
With the combined qualities of security, performance, efficiency, implement
ability and flexibility of the Rijndael, it is ideal for the AES. As to the
aspect of design, the AES as software works more rapidly and in turn, works
efficaciously in hardware. The AES also functions quickly even on not-very-large
gadgets such as smart phones and smart cards. Moreover, the AES offers more
security, as explained by its larger block size and longer keys as it AES adopts
128-bit fixed block size and it is compatible with 128-, 192- and 256- bit keys.
In general, the Rijndael algorithm has flexibility that allows it to cooperate
sufficiently with the key and block size of any multiple 32- bits with minimum
of 128- bits and maximum of 256- bits. The AES is the substitute for 3DES and
following the regulations of NIST, both ciphers will exist together until 2030,
which indicate that both will be sanctioned to undergo gradual transition to
become the AES. However, although the AES has better theoretical strength than
the 3DES especially where speed and efficiency are concerned, in some hardware,
3DES reinforcement may be more fast-paced, particularly because the 3DES has
more mature support (Alanazi et al., 2010a, c;
In Table 1, a comparison among these three algorithms is
performed based on nine factors to recognize basic differences among them (Alanazi
et al., 2010d).
The table shows a comparison of the DES, 3DES and AES, which is divided into
nine factors, namely the key length, cipher type, block size, developed, cryptanalysis
resistance, security, possibility key, possible ACSII printable character keys
and time required to check all possible keys at 50 billion seconds. The comparison
shows that the AES is better than the DES and 3DES (Alanazi
et al., 2010d).
Asymmetric cryptography algorithms: Asymmetric cryptography is a type
of cryptography also known as public-key cryptography, which is conducted using
a pair of related keys, as shown in Fig. 5 (Microsoft
Corporation, 2005). A message encrypted with a key can only be decrypted
with the equivalent part of that key (Alanazi et al.,
2010a). In public-key encryption, every participating party should have
a pair of keys: a private one, which should be secured and known only to the
holder and a public one, which anyone can hold.
If the encryption process is performed with a partys public key, the
decryption should be completed with the counterpart private key (Al-Bakri
et al, 2011; Medani et al., 2011).
The inverse is also correct: if a message is encrypted with someones private
key, it should be decrypted with the user's public key (Menezes
et al., 1996). In contrast to symmetric algorithms, asymmetric algorithms
are more recent. Among the most well known asymmetric algorithms is the RSA.
Rivest et al. (1978) introduced the RSA Cryptosystem,
the first public-key system (Alanazi et al., 2010a).
Public key Cryptography does not require a secure initial exchange of one or
more secret keys to both sender and receiver. Asymmetric key algorithms are
used to generate a mathematically linked key pair, a private key and a public
key. The use of these keys provides security in the authenticity of a message
by producing a digital signature using the private key, which can be verified
using the public key. It also provides protection in terms of confidentiality
and reliability of a message. Public key cryptography is a crucial and widely
used technology around the world. It is an approach that has been employed by
numerous cryptographic algorithms and cryptosystems. Some examples of well-known
asymmetric algorithms include the RSA, ECC and NTRU (Menezes
et al., 1996; Yadav, 2010).
RSA (Ravest, Shamir, Adleman): The RSA is a widely established asymmetric
encryption system pioneered by Rivest et al. (1978).
As an adopted standard system that deals with public key encryption, the private
key remains private, but the public key is given to everybody in the RSA. Since
its creation, the RSA has been considered as one of the most protected cryptosystems
(Al Hasib and Haque, 2008). The RSA has become commonplace
in instances where secure communication channels are set up as well as for authentication
of the service provider identity over vulnerable communication mediums. In the
authentication scheme, the server enforces public key authentication with the
client by having the client sign a unique message using the private key, bringing
about what it known today as the digital signature. The signature is then returned
to the client, who validates it using the servers well-established public
key (Singh and Maini, 2011). The security of the RSA
cryptosystem security also has certain imperfections. An attacker can exploit
a number of approaches to harass the RSA algorithm. Some popular approaches
include the Brute force, Mathematical attacks, Timing attacks and Chosen Ciphertext
attacks (Al Hasib and Haque, 2008).
Ntru algorithm (nth degree truncated polynomial ring units): The NTRU
algorithm was created in 1996 by three mathematicians, namely, Hoffstein
et al. (1998). The NTRU Cryptosystem received endorsement to be systemized
as a standard by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
(Hoffstein et al., 1998). As one of the most
widely known robust cryptosystem algorithms, NTRU has been transformed for presentation
as a novel cryptography generation that contributes to the enhanced performance
of encryption and decryption processes that reflect numerous cryptography-based
problems. Despite still being in the process of development and requiring further
research to ensure perfection, the NTRU algorithm serves as a good alternative
as a more solidified foundation for upcoming wireless communications because
of several plus points, including a more assured security great speed and reduced
computational complications (Alanazi et al., 2010b;
Jha and Saini, 2011).
The NTRU is a ring-based public key cryptosystem that relies on the dual ring
operations of addition and multiplication. Bearing this in mind, it is noticeably
dissimilar to most widespread cryptosystems, which are group-based and use only
group operations to serve the parameters. The well-off arithmetical arrangement
of the underlying ring is one advantage of the NTRU cryptosystem. Conversely,
the ring structures in cryptography are not as thoroughly explored as the group
theory and therefore, it more convenient to administer security evidence within
groups (Anonymous, 2002).
In principle, lattice-based systems and NTRU offer great speed and are anticipated
to endure the advancement of fairly sized quantum computers successfully because
their root problems do not recognize any quantum algorithm, particularly general
cases. It is also difficult to suggest any secure instances, even when reference
is made to a classical computing model. Moreover, complications that have surrounded
the classical lattice reduction algorithm are still not very well understood
(Yadav, 2010). To date, no established quantum algorithms
can unravel the lattice problems with more credible complexity than classical
algorithms. Therefore, lattice-based schemes might show off their sense of survival
in the quantum computation age (Anonymous, 2002).
Comparison of RSA and NTRU: The construction of secure instances and excellent performance for security algorithms remains an area of active focus in research. Recent works appear to suggest that a fast, yet efficient, NTRU-based system is feasible. In this section, comparative analysis is presented to show the strongest features between the RSA and NTRU. Criteria used to evaluate security algorithms include, key size, data types, encryption/decryption speed, power consumption and several other features like estimated breaking times and compatibility.
Key size: The expression of public and private key sizes in the form of bits has been considered as appealing. The key size formula is interpreted as the number of bits needed to maintain the storage of each term and the coefficient of each polynomial in the key, multiplied by the number of terms in the polynomial. Therefore, as an instance, the public key size for N = 167 and q = 128 is 167*log 2128 = 1169 bits. The private key would normally involve keeping tab of both f and Fp and thus is twice as large as the public key. Nevertheless, the speedier key generation variation of NTRU does not require storage and thus, the sizes of the private and public keys are similar. The RSA leans on modular arithmetic with extremely lengthy operands, thus, RSA performance has been noted to lag on constrained environments, one of which is poor memory and processor power.
Some advances noted on the issue of factorization have led to key sizes that
are thought to be well protected today to be relatively long. The normal key
size used for the RSA is 1024-bits (Karu and Loikkanen, 2001).
As relationship between the key size and performance for a given cryptosystem
is quite marked, it is rather imminent that the RSA would no longer be considered
practical anymore, particularly because other systems proposed will boast of
simultaneously better quality and protection. The reality is that the current
implementation on high security RSA on embedded system is a tough call for technological
experts. Variations are used even for short key and soon the RSA can no longer
be deemed to be a lightweight cryptosystem (Anonymous, 2002).
Encryption and decryption: The good point about decryption time for
the NTRU over the RSA demonstrates the advantage of the use of small integer
values by the NTRU over the large integer values of the RSA. Another tangible
aspect is that as the key size increases, the performance of the NTRU gradually
increases. The fastest variations of both algorithms were adopted and towards
providing a fair comparison, the encryption time for RSA is remarkably faster
than the NTRU as explained by the small modulo exponentiation operations required
when using F4 as the public exponent (e). A similar outcome can be anticipated
should (e) be fixed to 3. Some of the NTRU versus RSA criteria assessments in
literature have mentioned (e) as a random large number, following the order
of the modulus size. However, this option appears to be non-existent in the
Cryptic RSA implementation and as the result was eliminated for encryption and
it should be supposed that the NTRU would have speed roughly twice that noted
in the decryption (DSouza, 2001). In Table
2 estimated time of breaking for both algorithms (NTRU and RSA) is provided
based on key size (Karu and Loikkanen, 2001).
Referring to the previous comparison between the RSA and NTRU algorithms (Table 2), it can be concluded that NTRU has more advantages over the RSA, particularly in terms of encryption performance and compatibility. The analysis graphs above indicate the superiority of NTRU in terms of encryption and decryption processes. Table 3 provides some literature work done in the m-Government area to explore most significant contribution in the field.
A theoretical study of information security and m-Government was explored and
two significant requirements for secure systems and applications were discussed.
The significant aim of the study is to show the remarkability of applying security
in any information system implemented.
|| Literature survey on some contributions in the m-government
The study also provides an assessment of m-Government and presents some well-known
algorithms applied in security particularly applied to embedded systems such
as mobiles. A comparison among these algorithms was conducted and a literature
survey that points to the strongest algorithm in securing the transfer medium
in the m-Government (G2C) was provided. Upon the completion of this work, the
objective of choosing a powerful technique in securing m-Government services
in general and messaging services in particular should be clear. The study further
aims to deliver a sound theoretical background in the field of study and make
references to the needs and requirements for m-Government services to make them
more vigilant on the malicious breaches by attackers and increase awareness
to ensure better privacy.
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