Normally, authentication in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) uses public key infrastructure to verify the integrity of messages and the identity of message senders. The issues considered in the authentication schemes include the level of security and computational efficiency in the verification processes. Most existing schemes mainly focus on assuring the security and privacy of VANET information. However, these schemes may not work well in VANET scenarios. For instance, it is difficult for a roadside unit (RSU) to verify each vehicle’s signature sequentially when a large number of vehicles emerge in the coverage areas of an RSU. To reduce the computational overhead of RSUs, we propose a proxy-based authentication scheme (PBAS) using distributed computing.
In the PBAS, proxy vehicles are used to authenticate multiple messages with a verification function at the same time. In addition, the RSU is able to independently verify the outputs from the verification function of the proxy vehicles. We also design an expedite key negotiation scheme for transmitting sensitive messages. It is shown from the analysis and simulations that an RSU can verify 26 500 signatures per second simultaneously with the help of the proxy vehicles. The time needed to verify 3000 signatures in the PBAS can be reduced by 88% compared with existing batch-based authentication schemes.