Authentication, Time-Stamping and Digital Signatures
NATIONAL INST OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY BOULDER CO TIME AND FREQUENCY DIV
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Time and frequency data are often transmitted over public packet-switched networks, and the use of this mode of distribution is likely to increase in the near future as high-speed logical circuits transmitted via networks replace point-to-point physical circuits. Although these networks have many technical advantages, they are susceptible to eavesdropping, spoofing, and the alteration of messages enroute using techniques that are relatively simply to implement and quite difficult to detect. I will discuss a number of solutions to these problems, including the authentication mechanism used in the Network Time Protocol NTP and the more general technique of signing time-stamps using public-key cryptography. This public-key method can also be used to implement the digital analog of a Notary Public, and I will discuss how such a system could be realized on a public network such as the Internet.
- Optical Detection and Detectors