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Security Protocols and Specifications Martn Abadi
 

Summary: Security Protocols and Specifications
Mart’n Abadi
ma@pa.dec.com
Systems Research Center
Compaq
Abstract. Specifications for security protocols range from informal nar­
rations of message flows to formal assertions of protocol properties. This
paper (intended to accompany a lecture at ETAPS '99) discusses those
specifications and suggests some gaps and some opportunities for further
work. Some of them pertain to the traditional core of the field; others
appear when we examine the context in which protocols operate.
1 Introduction
The method of ``security by obscurity'' dictates that potential attackers to a
system should be kept from knowing not only passwords and cryptographic keys
but also basic information about how the system works, such as the specifica­
tions of cryptographic algorithms, communication protocols, and access­control
mechanisms. It has long been argued that ``security by obscurity'' is usually
inferior to open design [55, 28]. Of course, the value of writing and publishing
specifications is greater when the specifications are clear, complete, and at an
appropriate level of abstraction.

  

Source: Abadi, Martín - Department of Computer Science, University of California at Santa Cruz

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences