Assumptions, trust, and names in computer security protocols
Shearer, Charles Dylan
Dinolt, George W.
Michael, James Bret
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A major goal of using any security protocol is to create certain beliefs in the participants. A security protocol will use techniques like cryptography to guarantee some things, but it will still require a participant to make assumptions about other things that the protocol cannot guarantee; such assumptions often constitute trust in other participants. In this thesis, we attempt to precisely identify the required assumptions of some example protocols. In the process, we find that we must consider the names that participants use to reason about each other. It turns out that naming is a complex topic with a rich body of philosophical work, and we apply some ideas from this work to the problem of identifying security protocols' required assumptions. Finally, we begin work on a mathematical model of protocols and beliefs to which a formal logic of belief could be applied. The model is left incomplete because of some unresolved problems with modeling belief caused by the design requirement that the model's elements have clear operational meanings. The solution of these problems is left as future work.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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