Towards Effective PKI

Prof. Sean Smith

Towards Effective PKI Logo

In a distributed world, how can a stakeholder verify the identity (or other relevant properties) of a remote party?

In the emerging information infrastructure, multiple parties spanning multiple organizations have various opinions about what they might trust, in what contexts. To be effective, the underlying mechanics for transmitting and expressing assertions about these parties needs to be able to provide the right parameters to accommodate this multiplicity of views.

Because it can enable secure communications between parties who do not share a secret beforehand, public key cryptography is a natural and perhaps unique building block. Achieving this vision in the real world, however, requires public key infrastructure (PKI). In our lab, we are exploring a number avenues to make PKI effective in the real world.