Honest Ideals on Strand Spaces

March 2000
Joshua D. Guttman, The MITRE Corporation
Jonathan C. Herzog, The MITRE Corporation
F. Javier Thayer, The MITRE Corporation
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In security protocol analysis, it is important to learn general principles that limit the abilities of an attacker, and that can be applied repeatedly to a variety of protocols. We introduce the notion of an ideal—a set of messages closed under encryption and invariant under composition with arbitrary messages—to express such principles.

In conjunction with the strand space formalism, we use the concept of ideals to prove bounds on a penetrator's capabilities, independent of the security protocol being analyzed. From this we prove a number of correctness properties of the Otway Rees protocol, using these results to explain the limitations of the protocol.

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