Analysing authentication protocols using CSP and rank functions

Shaikh, Siraj A ORCID: 0000-0002-0726-3319 (2006) Analysing authentication protocols using CSP and rank functions. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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In an increasingly interconnected world, modern day computer networks have become the bedrock for global communications and electronic commerce, giving birth to a need for a variety of security protocols, foremost of which are authentication protocols. This in turn has placed great emphasis on the design and analysis of authentication protocols; a task which is error-prone and deceptive in nature, proving somewhat of a challenge to the academic community. The formal analysis of authentication protocols has developed into a comprehensive body of knowledge, building on a wide variety of formalisms anq treating a diverse range of authentication properties. One formal approach is introduced by Schneider, which involves modelling cryptographic protocols using the process algebra CSP and, verifying them using Schneider's rank functions approach. While this approach has been used to analyse several protocols for over a decade, it remains a specialist undertaking. In this thesis, we aim to develop and improve upon Schneider's original framework, to assist in the overall task of verification. We attempt to achieve this on two fronts. First, we study the use of correspondence to specify authentication and focus on Schneider's use of signal events for this purpose. We develop the formalism further to refine the specification of authentication, making it more precise and clear. Secondly, we focus on the non-trivial task of constructing rank functions. We propose a simple heuristic for constructing candidate rank functions, which is a crucial element of this verification approach. Furthermore, we compare the heuristic to an automatic approach, due to Heather and Schneider, for constructing rank functions. We examine relevant issues and use the heuristic to improve upon Heather's algorithm.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: A print copy of this thesis is available for reference use only.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Communicating sequential processes (CPS); Security protocols; Authentication protocols; Schneider's rank functions approach
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Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 14:21
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2022 14:21

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