Reducing the Dependence of SPKI/SDSI on PKI

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

Abstract

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.

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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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