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Distributed systems require the ability to communicate securely with other computers in the network. To accomplish this, most systems use key management schemes that require prior knowledge of public keys associated with critical nodes. In large, dynamic, anonymous systems, this key sharing method is not viable. Scribe is a method for efficient key management inside a distributed system that uses identity based encryption (IBE). Public resources in a network are addressable by unique identifiers. Using this identifier as a public key, other entities are able to securely access that resource. We evaluate key distribution schemes inside Scribe and provide recommendations for practical implementation to allow for secure, efficient, authenticated communication inside a distributed system.
Date of Conference: 12-15 May 2003