Indexed on: 09 Feb '13Published on: 09 Feb '13Published in: Journal of Medical Systems
Recently several hierarchical access control schemes are proposed in the literature to provide security of e-medicine systems. However, most of them are either insecure against 'man-in-the-middle attack' or they require high storage and computational overheads. Wu and Chen proposed a key management method to solve dynamic access control problems in a user hierarchy based on hybrid cryptosystem. Though their scheme improves computational efficiency over Nikooghadam et al.'s approach, it suffers from large storage space for public parameters in public domain and computational inefficiency due to costly elliptic curve point multiplication. Recently, Nikooghadam and Zakerolhosseini showed that Wu-Chen's scheme is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attack. In order to remedy this security weakness in Wu-Chen's scheme, they proposed a secure scheme which is again based on ECC (elliptic curve cryptography) and efficient one-way hash function. However, their scheme incurs huge computational cost for providing verification of public information in the public domain as their scheme uses ECC digital signature which is costly when compared to symmetric-key cryptosystem. In this paper, we propose an effective access control scheme in user hierarchy which is only based on symmetric-key cryptosystem and efficient one-way hash function. We show that our scheme reduces significantly the storage space for both public and private domains, and computational complexity when compared to Wu-Chen's scheme, Nikooghadam-Zakerolhosseini's scheme, and other related schemes. Through the informal and formal security analysis, we further show that our scheme is secure against different attacks and also man-in-the-middle attack. Moreover, dynamic access control problems in our scheme are also solved efficiently compared to other related schemes, making our scheme is much suitable for practical applications of e-medicine systems.