To address the ever increasing demand for wireless bandwidth, cognitive radio networks (CRNs) have been proposed to improve the efficiency of channel utilization. CRN permits unlicensed users to utilize the idle spectrum as long as it does not introduce interference to the primary users due to the Federal Communications Commission’s recent regulatory policies. In this paper, we first identify some required distinctive security and privacy features for CRNs focused on ECMA-392, which is the first industrial standard for personal or portable devices in the television white spaces. After that, we propose a delegation based user authentication framework as a basic security and privacy module with full consideration of the required features over CRNs. The proposed framework provides privacy preserving yet accountable security within the CRN entities. Security and privacy analyses show that the proposed framework supports unlinkability, context privacy, anonymity, no registration and conditional traceability, which are the required security and privacy aspects in CRNs.
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