Partial Order Reduction for Security Protocols


Security protocols are concurrent processes that communicate using cryptography with the aim of achieving various security properties. Recent work on their formal verification has brought procedures and tools for deciding trace equivalence properties (e.g., anonymity, unlinkability, vote secrecy) for a bounded number of sessions. However, these procedures are based on a naive symbolic exploration of all traces of the considered processes which, unsurprisingly, greatly limits the scalability and practical impact of the verification tools. In this paper, we mitigate this difficulty by developing partial order reduction techniques for the verification of security protocols. We provide reduced transition systems that optimally elim- inate redundant traces, and which are adequate for model-checking trace equivalence properties of protocols by means of symbolic execution. We have implemented our reductions in the tool Apte, and demonstrated that it achieves the expected speedup on various protocols.

International Conference on Concurrency Theory