n South African Computer Journal - Attack analysis of cryptographic protocols using strand spaces : research article

Volume 2003, Issue 31
  • ISSN : 1015-7999
  • E-ISSN: 2313-7835



Security protocols make use of cryptographic techniques to achieve goals such as confidentiality, authentication and integrity. However, the fact that strong cryptographic algorithms exist does not guarantee the security of a communications system. In fact, it is recognised that the engineering of security protocols is a challenging task, since protocols that appear secure can contain subtle flaws that attackers can exploit. A number of techniques exist for the analysis of security protocol specifications. Individually they are not capable of detecting every possible flaw or attack against a protocol. However, when combined, these techniques all complement each other, allowing a protocol engineer to obtain a more accurate overview of the security of a protocol that is being designed. This is the rationale for , a concept introduced by previous projects of ours over several years. We propose an approach to security protocol analysis within a . This analysis method complements the existing analysis tools developed earlier in the group. We give a brief overview of the concepts associated with the project, including a summary of existing security protocol analysis techniques, and a description of the , which is the intended formalism for the analysis.

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