Symbolic Analysis of Identity-Based Protocols


We show how the Tamarin tool can be used to model and reason about security protocols using identity-based cryptography, including identity-based encryption and signatures. Although such protocols involve rather different primitives than conventional public-key cryptography, we illustrate how suitable abstractions and Tamarin’s support for equational theories can be used to model and analyze realistic industry protocols, either finding flaws or gaining confidence in their security with respect to different classes of adversaries.

Technically, we propose two models of identity-based cryptography. First, we formalize an abstract model, based on simple equations, in which verification of realistic protocols is feasible. Second, we formalize a more precise model, leveraging Tamarin’s support for bilinear pairing and exclusive-or. This model is much closer to practical realizations of identity-based cryptography, but deduction is substantially more complex. Along the way, we point out the limits of precise modeling and highlight challenges in providing support for equational reasoning. We evaluate our models on an industrial protocol case study, where we find and fix flaws.

Festschrift Symposium in Honor of Catherine Meadows, LNCS 11565, Springer.