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Multichannel Security Protocols

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2 Author(s)
Ford Long Wong ; University of Cambridge ; Frank Stajano

Multichannel security protocols transmit messages over multiple communication channels, taking into account each channel's security properties. Our first intentional use of these protocols goes back to a 1999 article that proposed physical contact for imprinting as opposed to the wireless channel used in subsequent operations. Only later did we understand three key points. First, explicit use of multiple channels in the same protocol can offer significant advantages for both security and usability. Second, explicitly stating the properties of the channel on which each protocol message is transmitted is useful for understanding one's own protocol in greater depth and therefore for addressing subtle vulnerabilities early on. Third, multichannel protocols existed long before we recognized them as such - think of the courier handcuffed to the briefcase carrying the code book that will later protect postal or telegraphic traffic. The paper presents a security protocol that exploit additional transmissions over lower-capacity channels, typically found in ubicomp environments, that offer a different combination of security properties.

Published in:

IEEE Pervasive Computing  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )