How to prove security of communication protocols? A discussion on the soundness of formal models w.r.t. computational ones.

Hubert Comon-Lundh 1 Véronique Cortier 2
2 CASSIS - Combination of approaches to the security of infinite states systems
FEMTO-ST - Franche-Comté Électronique Mécanique, Thermique et Optique - Sciences et Technologies (UMR 6174), INRIA Lorraine, LORIA - Laboratoire Lorrain de Recherche en Informatique et ses Applications
Abstract : Security protocols are short programs that aim at securing communication over a public network. Their design is known to be error-prone with flaws found years later. That is why they deserve a careful security analysis, with rigorous proofs. Two main lines of research have been (independently) developed to analyse the security of protocols. On the one hand, formal methods provide with symbolic models and often automatic proofs. On the other hand, cryptographic models propose a tighter modeling but proofs are more difficult to write and to check. An approach developed during the last decade consists in bridging the two approaches, showing that symbolic models are \emph{sound} w.r.t. symbolic ones, yielding strong security guarantees using automatic tools. These results have been developed for several cryptographic primitives (e.g. symmetric and asymmetric encryption, signatures, hash) and security properties. While proving soundness of symbolic models is a very promising approach, several technical details are often not satisfactory. Focusing on symmetric encryption, we describe the difficulties and limitations of the available results.
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Hubert Comon-Lundh, Véronique Cortier. How to prove security of communication protocols? A discussion on the soundness of formal models w.r.t. computational ones.. Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science - STACS2011, Mar 2011, Dortmund, Germany. pp.29-44. ⟨hal-00573590⟩

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