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A comprehensive security and performance assessment of UAV authentication schemes (01a Articolo in rivista)

Mekdad Y, Aris A, Acar A, Conti M, Lazzeretti R, Fergougui Ae, Uluagac S

In the past few years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have significantly gained attention and popularity from industry, government, and academia. With their rapid development and deployment into the civilian airspace, UAVs play an important role in different applications, including goods delivery, search-and-rescue, and traffic monitoring. Therefore, providing secure communication through authentication models for UAVs is necessary for a successful and reliable flight mission. To satisfy such requirements, numerous authentication mechanisms have been proposed in the literature. However, the literature lacks a comprehensive study evaluating the security and performance of these solutions. In this article, we analyze the security and performance of 27 recent UAV authentication works by considering ten different key metrics. First, in the performance analysis, we show that the majority of UAV authentication schemes are lightweight in their communication cost. However, the storage overhead or the energy consumption is not reported by many authentication studies. Then, we reveal in the security analysis the widely employed formal models (i.e., abstract description of an authentication protocol through a mathematical model), while most of the studies lack coverage of many attacks that can target UAV systems. Afterwards, we highlight the challenges that need to be addressed in order to design and implement secure and reliable UAV authentication schemes. Finally, we summarize the lessons learned on the authentication strategies for UAVs to motivate promising direction for further research.
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