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Rational authentication protocols

Long Nguyen ( Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford )

Ideas from game theory are used to transform several families of authentication protocols so that even if an intruder attacks a protocol, his expected payoff will still be lower than when he does not. The intruder therefore does not have any incentive to attack. This work might be useful in resisting a powerful and rational intruder who makes many attempts to cause incorrect authentication because even if the intruder fails (1) a denial of service is still mounted, and (2) in a password-based protocol, the chance of a successful attack increases quite significantly as more and more attempts are launched to guess the password.

This work is an addition to the literature of rationality and security, where previous contributions include rational fair exchange protocols and rational secret sharing schemes.

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