Reducing the Dependence of SPKI/SDSI on PKI

  • Hao Wang
  • Somesh Jha
  • Thomas Reps
  • Stefan Schwoon
  • Stuart Stubblebine
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4189)


Trust-management systems address the authorization problem in distributed systems. They offer several advantages over other approaches, such as support for delegation and making authorization decisions in a decentralized manner. Nonetheless, trust-management systems such as KeyNote and SPKI/SDSI have seen limited deployment in the real world. One reason for this is that both systems require a public-key infrastructure (PKI) for authentication, and PKI has proven difficult to deploy, because each user is required to manage his/her own private/public key pair. The key insight of our work is that issuance of certificates in trust-management systems, a task that usually requires public-key cryptography, can be achieved using secret-key cryptography as well. We demonstrate this concept by showing how SPKI/SDSI can be modified to use Kerberos, a secret-key based authentication system, to issue SPKI/SDSI certificates. The resulting trust-management system retains all the capabilities of SPKI/SDSI, but is much easier to use because a public key is only required for each SPKI/SDSI server, but no longer for every user. Moreover, because Kerberos is already well established, our approach makes SPKI/SDSI-based trust management systems easier to deploy in the real world.


USENIX Security Symposium Authorization Request Secure Communication Channel Service Grant Ticket Pushdown System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hao Wang
    • 1
  • Somesh Jha
    • 1
  • Thomas Reps
    • 1
  • Stefan Schwoon
    • 2
  • Stuart Stubblebine
    • 3
  1. 1.University of WisconsinMadisonU.S.A.
  2. 2.Universität StuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Stubblebine Research Labs 

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