Secure modular password authentication for the web using channel bindings

Manulis, Mark, Stebila, Douglas, & Denham, Mark (2014) Secure modular password authentication for the web using channel bindings. In Chen, Liqun (Ed.) Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Research in Security Standardisation (SSR) 2014, Springer, University of London, Egham, UK. (In Press)

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Abstract

Secure protocols for password-based user authentication are well-studied in the cryptographic literature but have failed to see wide-spread adoption on the Internet; most proposals to date require extensive modifications to the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, making deployment challenging. Recently, a few modular designs have been proposed in which a cryptographically secure password-based mutual authentication protocol is run inside a confidential (but not necessarily authenticated) channel such as TLS; the password protocol is bound to the established channel to prevent active attacks. Such protocols are useful in practice for a variety of reasons: security no longer relies on users' ability to validate server certificates and can potentially be implemented with no modifications to the secure channel protocol library.

We provide a systematic study of such authentication protocols. Building on recent advances in modelling TLS, we give a formal definition of the intended security goal, which we call password-authenticated and confidential channel establishment (PACCE). We show generically that combining a secure channel protocol, such as TLS, with a password authentication protocol, where the two protocols are bound together using either the transcript of the secure channel's handshake or the server's certificate, results in a secure PACCE protocol. Our prototype based on TLS is available as a cross-platform client-side Firefox browser extension and a server-side web application which can easily be installed on deployed web browsers and servers.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 76270
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300) > Computer System Security (080303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DATA FORMAT (080400) > Data Encryption (080402)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Springer
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2014 23:29
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 04:44

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