Description: Secure communication is the primary challenge in today's information network. In this project an efficient secret key agreement protocol is described and analyzed along with the other existing protocols. We focus primarily on Leighton and Micali's secret-key agreement without the use of public-key encryption techniques. The Leighton-Micali protocol is extremely efficient when implemented in software and has significant advantages over existing systems like Kerberos. In this method the secret keys are agreed upon using a trusted third party known as the trusted agent. The trusted agent generates the keys and writes them to a public directory before it goes offline. The communicating entities can retrieve the keys either from the online trusted agent or from the public directory service and agree upon a symmetric-key without any public-key procedures. The principal advantage of this method is that the user verifies the authenticity of the trusted agent before using the keys generated by it. The Leighton-Micali scheme is not vulnerable to the present day attacks like fabrication, modification or denial of service etc. The Leighton-Micali protocol can be employed in real-time systems like smart cards. In addition to the security properties and the simplicity of the protocol, our experiments show that in practice the time to generate keys is very low, and is faster than the Diffie-Hellman key exchange for the same problem.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Surapaneni, Smitha
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries