USENIX Symposium on Internet Technologies and Systems, 1997
Lightweight Security Primitives for E-Commerce
Yossi Matias, Alain Mayer, and Avi Silberschatz
Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies
Emerging applications in electronic commerce often involve very low-cost
transactions, which execute in the context of ongoing, extended client-server
relationships. For example, consider a web-site (server) which offers repeated
authenticated personalized stock quotes to each of its subscribers (clients).
The value of a single transaction (e.g., delivery of a web-page with a
customized set of quotes) does not warrant the cost of executing a handshake
and key distribution protocol. Also, a client might not always use the
same machine during such an extended relationship (e.g., a PC at home,
a laptop on a trip). Typical transport/session-layer security mechanisms
such as SSL and S-HTTP either require handshake/key distribution for each
transaction or do not support client mobility.
We propose a new security framework for extended relationships between
clients and servers, based on persistent shared keys. We argue that this
is a preferred model for inexpensive transactions executing within extended
relationships. Our main contribution is the design and implementation of
a set of lightweight application-layer primitives, for (1) generating and
maintaining persistent shared keys without requiring a client to store
any information between transactions and (2) securing a wide range of web-transactions
(e.g., subscription, authenticated and/or private delivery of information,
receipts) with adequate computational cost. Our protocols require public
key infrastructure only for servers/vendors, and its usage only once per
client (upon first interaction).
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