, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 932-943

Verification of Authentication Protocols for Epistemic Goals via SAT Compilation

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper introduces a new methodology that uses knowledge structures, a specific form of Kripke semantics for epistemic logic, to analyze communication protocols over hostile networks. The paper particularly focuses on automatic verification of authentication protocols. Our approach is based on the actual definitions of a protocol, not on some difficult-to-establish justifications. The proposed methodology is different from many previous approaches to automatic verification of security protocols in that it is justification-oriented instead of falsification-oriented, i.e., finding bugs in a protocol. The main idea is based on observations: separating a principal executing a run of protocol from the role in the protocol, and inferring a principal’s knowledge from the local observations of the principal. And we show analytically and empirically that this model can be easily reduced to Satisfiability (SAT) problem and efficiently implemented by a modern SAT solver.

This work is supported by the National Grand Fundamental Research 973 Program of China under Grant No 2005CB321902, the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 60496327, 10410638 and 60473004, German Research Foundation under Grant No. 446 CHV113/240/0-1, Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Foundation under Grant No. 04205407, and KAISI Fund in Sun Yat-Sen University.
Kai-Le Su is a professor in Dept. Computer Science, and director of Formal Verification and Multi-Agent System Lab in Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou. Dr. Su got his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Nanjing University in 1995. His research interests are mathematical logic and its applications to artificial intelligence, especially in model checking multi-agent systems, knowledge representation and reasoning, logic programming and symbolic algorithms.
Qing-Liang Chen got his Bachelor’s degree from Sun Yat-Sen University in 2002. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Dept. Computer Science, Sun Yat-Sen University. His research interests include theoretic and algorithmic issues in formal verification and automated reasoning.
Abdul Sattar is a professor in School of Computing and Information Technology at the Nathan campus of Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, and director of Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems. He got his Ph.D. degree from Univ. Alberta, Canada in 1992. His research interests include knowledge representation, hypothetical reasoning, default logics, belief revision and logic programming, etc. He is a member of American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and member of Association of Computing Machines (ACM).
Wei-Ya Yue got his Bachelor’s degree from Sun Yat-Sen University in 2004. He is currently a Master candidate in Department of Computer Science, Sun Yat-Sen University. His research interests include automated reasoning by symbolic algorithms.
Guan-Feng Lv was born in 1973, and got his Ph.D. degree from Department of Computer Science in Sun Yat-Sen University in 2005. He is now an assistant professor in College of Computer Science and Technology, Beijing University of Technology. His research interests include intelligent algorithms and systems.
Xi-Zhong Zheng is currently a Privat.Docent in Department of Computer Science, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus (BTU Cottbus), Cottbus, Germany. He got his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Nanjing University in China in 1987 and Ph.D. degree in computer science from FernUniversitaet Hagen in Germany in 1998. His research interests include mathematical logic and its application to theoretical computer science, especially in structural complexity, computability and complexity in analysis.