A Logic-Based Reasoner for Discovering Authentication Vulnerabilities Between Interconnected Accounts

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11263)


With users being more reliant on online services for their daily activities, there is an increasing risk for them to be threatened by cyber-attacks harvesting their personal information or banking details. These attacks are often facilitated by the strong interconnectivity that exists between online accounts, in particular due to the presence of shared (e.g., replicated) pieces of user information across different accounts. In addition, a significant proportion of users employs pieces of information, e.g. used to recover access to an account, that are easily obtainable from their social networks accounts, and hence are vulnerable to correlation attacks, where a malicious attacker is either able to perform password reset attacks or take full control of user accounts.

This paper proposes the use of verification techniques to analyse the possible vulnerabilities that arises from shared pieces of information among interconnected online accounts. Our primary contributions include a logic-based reasoner that is able to discover vulnerable online accounts, and a corresponding tool that provides modelling of user accounts, their interconnections, and vulnerabilities. Finally, the tool allows users to perform security checks of their online accounts and suggests possible countermeasures to reduce the risk of compromise.


Logic-based reasoner Logic analyzer Authentication Interconnected accounts 



Erisa Karafili was supported by the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 746667. This work builds upon research funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through grants EP/L022729/1 and EP/N023242/1.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ComputingImperial College LondonLondonEngland
  2. 2.Information Security GroupRoyal Holloway, University of LondonEghamEngland

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