First European Symposium On Research In Computer Security (ESORICS 90)
Better Login Protocols for Computer Networks
D. de Waleffe, J.-J. Quisquater
Abstract : Authenticating computer users is a fairly old problem. Password based solutions were acceptable until the growth of computer networks based on insecure communication. Today many systems still use fixed passwords as a mean of authentication. We show in this paper how an old scheme by Lamport can be used to provide more security. Relying on that scheme and zero-knowledge techniques, we show extensions providing much more general access control mechanisms. Those extensions can be exploited in several ways: to authenticate users in computer networks, to provide users with access tickets or provide servers with proofs of usage. We also show how, in a single transaction, a user can prove his authenticity as well as prove his possession of a ticket. Finally, we explain how new smart cards make those protocols very practical.
Proceedings table of contents