Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
12th USENIX Security Symposium — Abstract

Pp. 45-58 of the Proceedings

Plug-and-Play PKI: A PKI Your Mother Can Use

Peter Gutmann, Auckland University


A common complaint about PKI is that it is simply too hard to use at the end-user level. Somewhat surprisingly, there exists no PKI equivalent of DHCP or BOOTP for automated, transparent PKI setup, leaving the certificate user experience similar to the process of bringing up an X.25 link. This paper provides a PKI equivalent of these basic bootstrap services that provides automatic, transparent configuration and setup of certificate information, with the user needing to supply no more than their user name and password. The work covers the design process involved and tradeoffs made, implementation details, and experiences with actual operation. The overall purpose of the work is to design and implement a plug-and-play certificate setup mechanism usable by even the most inexperienced user, a "PKI your mother can use".
  • View the full text of this paper in HTML and PDF.
    Click here if you have forgotten your password Until August 2004, you will need your USENIX membership identification in order to access the full papers. The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2003 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.
To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 7 Nov. 2003 jel
Technical Program
Security '03 Home