Indiana University Bloomington

Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

Technical Report TR520:
A Reduction for Automated Verification of Authentication Protocals

Scott D. Stoller
(Dec 1998), 22 pages pages
[Revised April 1999]
Authentication protocols (including protocols that provide key establishment) are designed to work correctly in the presence of an adversary that can prompt honest principals to engage in an unbounded number of concurrent runs of the protocol. The amount of local state maintained by a single run of an authentication protocol is bounded. Intuitively, this suggests that there is a bound on the resources needed to attack the protocol. Such bounds clarify the nature of attacks on and provide a rigorous basis for automated verification of authentication protocols. However, few such bounds are known. This paper defines a domain-specific language for authentication protocols and establishes an upper bound on the resources needed to attack a large subset of the protocols expressible in that language, including versions of the Yahalom, Otway-Rees, and Needham-Schroeder public-key protocols.

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