As modern vehicle and communication technologies advanced apace, people begin to believe that the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) would be achievable in one decade. ITS introduces information technology to the transportation infrastructures and aims to improve road safety and traffic efficiency. However, security is still a main concern in vehicular communication systems (VCSs). This can be addressed through secured group broadcast. Therefore, secure key management schemes are considered as a critical technique for network security. In this paper, we propose a framework for providing secure key management within the heterogeneous network. The security managers (SMs) play a key role in the framework by capturing the vehicle departure information, encapsulating block to transport keys and then executing rekeying to vehicles within the same security domain. The first part of this framework is a novel network topology based on a decentralized blockchain structure. The blockchain concept is proposed to simplify the distributed key management in heterogeneous VCS domains. The second part of the framework uses the dynamic transaction collection period to further reduce the key transfer time during vehicles handover. Extensive simulations and analysis show the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed framework, in which the blockchain structure performs better in term of key transfer time than the structure with a central manager, while the dynamic scheme allows SMs to flexibly fit various traffic levels.
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