Strengthening and formally verifying privacy in identity management systems

Suriadi, Suriadi (2010) Strengthening and formally verifying privacy in identity management systems. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


In a digital world, users’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is normally managed with a system called an Identity Management System (IMS). There are many types of IMSs. There are situations when two or more IMSs need to communicate with each other (such as when a service provider needs to obtain some identity information about a user from a trusted identity provider). There could be interoperability issues when communicating parties use different types of IMS. To facilitate interoperability between different IMSs, an Identity Meta System (IMetS) is normally used. An IMetS can, at least theoretically, join various types of IMSs to make them interoperable and give users the illusion that they are interacting with just one IMS. However, due to the complexity of an IMS, attempting to join various types of IMSs is a technically challenging task, let alone assessing how well an IMetS manages to integrate these IMSs. The first contribution of this thesis is the development of a generic IMS model called the Layered Identity Infrastructure Model (LIIM). Using this model, we develop a set of properties that an ideal IMetS should provide. This idealized form is then used as a benchmark to evaluate existing IMetSs. Different types of IMS provide varying levels of privacy protection support. Unfortunately, as observed by Jøsang et al (2007), there is insufficient privacy protection in many of the existing IMSs. In this thesis, we study and extend a type of privacy enhancing technology known as an Anonymous Credential System (ACS). In particular, we extend the ACS which is built on the cryptographic primitives proposed by Camenisch, Lysyanskaya, and Shoup. We call this system the Camenisch, Lysyanskaya, Shoup - Anonymous Credential System (CLS-ACS). The goal of CLS-ACS is to let users be as anonymous as possible. Unfortunately, CLS-ACS has problems, including (1) the concentration of power to a single entity - known as the Anonymity Revocation Manager (ARM) - who, if malicious, can trivially reveal a user’s PII (resulting in an illegal revocation of the user’s anonymity), and (2) poor performance due to the resource-intensive cryptographic operations required. The second and third contributions of this thesis are the proposal of two protocols that reduce the trust dependencies on the ARM during users’ anonymity revocation. Both protocols distribute trust from the ARM to a set of n referees (n > 1), resulting in a significant reduction of the probability of an anonymity revocation being performed illegally. The first protocol, called the User Centric Anonymity Revocation Protocol (UCARP), allows a user’s anonymity to be revoked in a user-centric manner (that is, the user is aware that his/her anonymity is about to be revoked). The second protocol, called the Anonymity Revocation Protocol with Re-encryption (ARPR), allows a user’s anonymity to be revoked by a service provider in an accountable manner (that is, there is a clear mechanism to determine which entity who can eventually learn - and possibly misuse - the identity of the user). The fourth contribution of this thesis is the proposal of a protocol called the Private Information Escrow bound to Multiple Conditions Protocol (PIEMCP). This protocol is designed to address the performance issue of CLS-ACS by applying the CLS-ACS in a federated single sign-on (FSSO) environment. Our analysis shows that PIEMCP can both reduce the amount of expensive modular exponentiation operations required and lower the risk of illegal revocation of users’ anonymity. Finally, the protocols proposed in this thesis are complex and need to be formally evaluated to ensure that their required security properties are satisfied. In this thesis, we use Coloured Petri nets (CPNs) and its corresponding state space analysis techniques. All of the protocols proposed in this thesis have been formally modeled and verified using these formal techniques. Therefore, the fifth contribution of this thesis is a demonstration of the applicability of CPN and its corresponding analysis techniques in modeling and verifying privacy enhancing protocols. To our knowledge, this is the first time that CPN has been comprehensively applied to model and verify privacy enhancing protocols. From our experience, we also propose several CPN modeling approaches, including complex cryptographic primitives (such as zero-knowledge proof protocol) modeling, attack parameterization, and others. The proposed approaches can be applied to other security protocols, not just privacy enhancing protocols.

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ID Code: 39345
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Foo, Ernest, Ouyang, Chun, & Smith, Jason
Keywords: identity management, privacy, privacy enhancing system, federated single sign-on system, federated identity management, proxy re-encryption, group encryption, custodian hiding encryption, coloured petri nets, state-space analysis, attack models, formal methods, protocol verification, data security, computational logic and formal languages, applied discrete mathematics
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 Dec 2010 04:55
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:00

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