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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 4 (2008), Issue 2, Pages 119-130

Secure Authentication in Heterogeneous Wireless Networks

Arjan Durresi,1 Mimoza Durresi,1 and Leonard Barolli2

1Indiana University Purdue University, 723 W. Michigan St. SL 280M, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
2Fukuoka Institute of Technology, 3-30-1 Wajiro-Higashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 811-0295, Japan

Received 3 April 2008; Accepted 3 April 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The convergence of cellular and IP technologies has pushed the integration of 3G and WLAN networks to the forefront. Gaining secure access to 3G services from 802.11 WLANs is a primary challenge for this new integrated wireless technology. Successful execution of 3G security algorithms can be limited to a specified area by encrypting a user's authentication challenge with spatial data defining his visited WLAN. With limited capacity to determine a user's location only to within a current cell and restrictions on accessing users' location due to privacy, 3G operators must rely on spatial data sent from visited WLANs to implement spatial authentication control. A potential risk is presented to 3G operators since no prior relationship or trust may exist with a WLAN owner. Algorithms to quantify the trust between all parties of 3G-WLAN integrated networks are presented to further secure user authentication. Ad-hoc serving networks and the trust relationships established between mobile users are explored to define stronger algorithms for 3G – WLAN user authentication.