ZETA - Zero-Trust Authentication: Relying on Innate Human Ability, not Technology

Gutmann, A., Renaud, K., Maguire, J. , Mayer, P., Volkamer, M., Matsuura, K. and Muller-Quade, J. (2016) ZETA - Zero-Trust Authentication: Relying on Innate Human Ability, not Technology. In: 1st IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy, Saarbrucken, Germany, 21-24 Mar 2016, pp. 357-371. ISBN 9781509017515 (doi:10.1109/EuroSP.2016.35)

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Abstract

Reliable authentication requires the devices and channels involved in the process to be trustworthy; otherwise authentication secrets can easily be compromised. Given the unceasing efforts of attackers worldwide such trustworthiness is increasingly not a given. A variety of technical solutions, such as utilising multiple devices/channels and verification protocols, has the potential to mitigate the threat of untrusted communications to a certain extent. Yet such technical solutions make two assumptions: (1) users have access to multiple devices and (2) attackers will not resort to hacking the human, using social engineering techniques. In this paper, we propose and explore the potential of using human-based computation instead of solely technical solutions to mitigate the threat of untrusted devices and channels. ZeTA (Zero Trust Authentication on untrusted channels) has the potential to allow people to authenticate despite compromised channels or communications and easily observed usage. Our contributions are threefold: (1) We propose the ZeTA protocol with a formal definition and security analysis that utilises semantics and human-based computation to ameliorate the problem of untrusted devices and channels. (2) We outline a security analysis to assess the envisaged performance of the proposed authentication protocol. (3) We report on a usability study that explores the viability of relying on human computation in this context.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Renaud, Dr Karen and Maguire, Dr Joseph
Authors: Gutmann, A., Renaud, K., Maguire, J., Mayer, P., Volkamer, M., Matsuura, K., and Muller-Quade, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
ISBN:9781509017515
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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