PUCA: A pseudonym scheme with strong privacy guarantees for vehicular ad-hoc networks

David Förster*, Frank Kargl, Hans Löhr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Pseudonym certificates are the state-of-the-art approach for secure and privacy-friendly message authentication in vehicular ad-hoc networks. However, most of the proposed pseudonym schemes focus on privacy among participants. Privacy towards backend providers is usually (if at all) only protected by separation of responsibilities. The protection can be overridden, when the entities collaborate, e.g. when revocation of long-term credentials is required. This approach puts the users' privacy at risk, if the backend systems are not fully trusted. We propose PUCA - a scheme that provides full anonymity for honest users, even against colluding backend providers. The scheme uses anonymous credentials for authentication with the backend, while leaving the communication among vehicles and with road side units unchanged and in compliance with existing standards. For removal of misbehaving vehicles from the system, we leverage a privacy-friendly revocation mechanism, that does not require resolution of pseudonyms. With our scheme, we demonstrate that strong and verifiable privacy protection in vehicular networks can be achieved, while fulfilling common security requirements, such as sybil-resistance and revocation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-132
Number of pages11
JournalAd hoc networks
Issue numberPart 1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Anonymous credentials
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Location privacy
  • Pseudonym schemes
  • Security
  • Vehicular ad-hoc networks
  • n/a OA procedure


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  • PUCA: A pseudonym scheme with user-controlled anonymity for vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANET)

    Förster, D., Kargl, F. & Löhr, H., Dec 2014, 2014 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference (VNC). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE, p. 25-32 8 p. (IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference (VNC); vol. 2014).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)

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