Accession Number : ADA613156

Title :   Actor-network Procedures: Modeling Multi-factor Authentication, Device Pairing, Social Interactions

Descriptive Note : Journal article preprint


Personal Author(s) : Pavlovic, Dusko ; Meadows, Catherine

Full Text :

Report Date : 29 Aug 2011

Pagination or Media Count : 34

Abstract : As computation spreads from computers to networks of computers, and migrates into cyberspace it ceases to be globally programmable, but it remains programmable indirectly and partially: network computations cannot be controlled, but they can be steered by imposing local constraints on network nodes. The tasks of programming global behaviors through local constraints belong to the area of security. The program particles that assure that a system of local interactions leads towards some desired global goals are called security protocols. They are the software connectors of modern, world wide software systems. As computation spreads beyond cyberspace, into physical and social spaces, new security tasks and problems arise. As computer networks are extended by nodes with physical sensors and controllers, including the humans, and interlaced with social networks, the engineering concepts and techniques of computer security blend with the social processes of security, that evolved since the dawn of mankind. These new connectors for computational and social software require a new discipline of programming of global behaviors through local constraints. Since the new discipline seems to be emerging from a combination of established models of security protocols with older methods of procedural programming, we use the name procedures for these new connectors, that generalize protocols. In the present paper we propose actor-networks as a formal model of computation in heterogenous networks of computers, humans and their devices, where these new procedures run; and we introduce Procedure Derivation Logic (PDL) as a framework for reasoning about security in actor-networks. On the way, we survey the guiding ideas of Protocol Derivation Logic (also PDL) that evolved through our work in security in last 10 years. Both formalisms are geared towards graphic reasoning and, ultimately, tool support. We illustrate their workings by analysing a form of two-factor authentication.


Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software
      Computer Systems
      Computer Systems Management and Standards

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE