Affiliation: UC Irvine
Two-Factor Authentication with End-to-End Password Security
We present a secure two-factor authentication (TFA) scheme based on the possession by the user of a password and a crypto-capable device. Security is “end-to-end” in the sense that the attacker can attack all parts of the system, including all communication links and any subset of parties (servers, devices, client terminals), can learn users’ passwords, and perform active and passive attacks, online and offline. In all cases the scheme provides the highest attainable security bounds given the set of compromised components. Our solution builds a TFA scheme using any Device-Enhanced PAKE, defined by Jarecki et al., and any Short Authenticated String (SAS) Message Authentication, defined by Vaudenay. We show an efficient instantiation the modular, generic construction we give is not PAKE-agnostic because it doesn’t even use PAKE, but the instantiation of this scheme which instantiates DE-PAKE with PTR+PAKE is PAKE-agnostic as you say of this modular construction which utilizes any password-based client-server authentication method, with or without reliance on public-key infrastructure. The security of the proposed scheme is proven in a formal model that we formulate as an extension of the traditional PAKE model.We also report on a prototype implementation of our schemes, including TLS-based and PKI-free variants, as well as several instantiations of the SAS mechanism, all demonstrating the practicality of our approach.
Secure Device Pairing based on a Visual Channel
Recently several researchers and practitioners have begun to address the problem of secure device pairing or how to set up secure communication between two devices without the assistance of a trusted third party. McCune, et al.  proposed Seeing-is-Believing (SiB), a system which uses a visual channel. The SiB visual channel consists of one device displaying the hash of its public key in the form of a two-dimensional barcode, and the other device reading this information using a photo camera. Strong mutual authentication in SiB requires running two separate unilateral authentication steps. In this paper, we show how strong mutual authentication can be achieved even with a unidirectional visual channel, where SiB could provide only a weaker property termed as presence. This could help reduce the SiB execution time and improve usability. By adopting recently proposed improved pairing protocols, we propose how visual channel authentication can be used even on devices that have very limited displaying capabilities, all the way down to a device whose display consists of a cheap single light-source, such as an LED. We also describe a new video codec that may be used to improve execution time of pairing in limited display devices, and can be used for other applications besides pairing.