In the utility-based routing protocol of delay-tolerant networks (DTNs), nodes calculate routing utility value by encounter time, frequency, and so on, and then forward messages according to the utility. The privacy information of encounter time and frequency will be leaked when nodes communicate with real IDs. Node ID anonymity can protect the privacy information, but it also prevents nodes from collecting encounter information to calculate the real utility value. To solve the above problem, this paper proposes a privacy-preserving protocol for utility-based routing (PPUR) in DTNs. When node encounter occurs in PPUR, they anonymously generate and collect the encounter record information by pseudo-IDs. Then, nodes forward the information to a trusted authority (TA), which calculates the routing utility value and returns it to the nodes, so that nodes can protect the privacy information and obtain the real utility value at the same time. PPUR also protects the confidentiality and integrity of messages through hashing and digital signature. The experimental results show that PPUR can not only protect nodes’ privacy information, but also effectively forward messages with real utility value.
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