Summary: Taming the Adversary
Bell Labs Research, Lucent Technologies
Abstract. While there is a great deal of sophistication in modern cryp
tology, simple (and simplistic) explanations of cryptography remain use
ful and perhaps necessary. Many of the explanations are informal; others
are embodied in formal methods, particularly in formal methods for the
analysis of security protocols. This note (intended to accompany a talk
at the Crypto 2000 conference) describes some of those explanations. It
focuses on simple models of attacks, pointing to partial justifications of
1 Polite Adversaries
Some of the simplest explanations of cryptography rely on analogies with physi
cal objects, such as safes, locks, and sealed envelopes. These explanations are cer
tainly simplistic. Nevertheless, and in spite of the sophistication of modern cryp
tology, these and other simplifications can be helpful when used appropriately.
The simplifications range from informal metaphors to rigorous abstract models,
and include frequent omissions of detail and conceptual conflations (e.g., ).