Efficient Multicast Packet Authentication
Providing authentication mechanisms for IP-Multicast streams is paramount for the development of large scale commercial multicast content delivery applications. This need is particularly strong for the delivery of real time content, such as live video/audio news events or financial stock quote distribution. However, this turns out to be a quite challenging problem for many reasons. First, the authentication of the multicast data must be verifiable by a potentially very large number of untrusted recipients. Second, since multicast communication protocols are almost always best effort, the authentication mechanisms need to authenticate received content despite the potential loss of some packets. Finally, the authentication mechanism needs to be efficient enough to cope with real time data and should have a small communication overhead.