WAVE: A Decentralized Authorization Framework with Transitive Delegation


Michael P Andersen, Sam Kumar, Moustafa AbdelBaky, Gabe Fierro, John Kolb, Hyung-Sin Kim, David E. Culler, and Raluca Ada Popa, University of California, Berkeley


Most deployed authorization systems rely on a central trusted service whose compromise can lead to the breach of millions of user accounts and permissions. We present WAVE, an authorization framework offering decentralized trust: no central services can modify or see permissions and any participant can delegate a portion of their permissions autonomously. To achieve this goal, WAVE adopts an expressive authorization model, enforces it cryptographically, protects permissions via a novel encryption protocol while enabling discovery of permissions, and stores them in an untrusted scalable storage solution. WAVE provides competitive performance to traditional authorization systems relying on central trust. It is an open-source artifact and has been used for two years for controlling 800 IoT devices.

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@inproceedings {236196,
author = {Michael P Andersen and Sam Kumar and Moustafa AbdelBaky and Gabe Fierro and John Kolb and Hyung-Sin Kim and David E. Culler and Raluca Ada Popa},
title = {{WAVE}: A Decentralized Authorization Framework with Transitive Delegation},
booktitle = {28th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 19)},
year = {2019},
isbn = {978-1-939133-06-9},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {1375--1392},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity19/presentation/andersen},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,

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