Paper 2021/1372

Arrows in a Quiver: A Secure Certificateless Group Key Distribution Protocol for Drones

Eugene Frimpong, Reyhaneh Rabbaninejad, and Antonis Michalas


Drone-based applications continue to garner a lot of attention due to their significant potential in both commercial and non-commercial use. Owing to this increasing popularity, researchers have begun to pay attention to the communication security requirements involved in deploying drone-based applications and services on a large scale, with particular emphasis on group communication. The majority of existing works in this field focus on the use of symmetric key cryptographic schemes or group key agreement schemes. However, in this paper, we propose a pairing-free certificateless group authenticated key distribution protocol for drone-based applications which takes into consideration drones with varying computational resources. The proposed scheme ensures key freshness, group key secrecy, forward secrecy, and backward secrecy while ensuring that the scheme is lightweight enough to be implemented on very resource-constrained drones or smart devices. We extensively prove the security of our scheme and demonstrate its real-world applicability by evaluating its performance on three different kinds of drone boards (UP Xtreme i7 board, SamL11-Xpro board, and a Zolertia Re-mote Revb board).

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. The 26th Nordic Conference on Secure IT Systems (NordSec'21)
Certificateless Public Key CryptographyGroup Key DistributionDrones
Contact author(s)
eugene frimpong @ tuni fi
2021-10-12: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Eugene Frimpong and Reyhaneh Rabbaninejad and Antonis Michalas},
      title = {Arrows in a Quiver: A Secure Certificateless Group Key Distribution Protocol for Drones},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1372},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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