Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2008/044

Unidirectional Key Distribution Across Time and Space with Applications to RFID Security

Ari Juels and Ravikanth Pappu and Bryan Parno

Abstract: We explore the problem of secret-key distribution in _unidirectional_ channels, those in which a sender transmits information blindly to a receiver. We consider two approaches: (1) Key sharing across _space_, i.e., across simultaneously emitted values that may follow different data paths and (2) Key sharing across _time_, i.e., in temporally staggered emissions. Our constructions are of general interest, treating, for instance, the basic problem of constructing highly compact secret shares. Our main motivating problem, however, is that of practical key management in RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) systems. We describe the application of our techniques to RFID-enabled supply chains and a prototype privacy-enhancing system.

Category / Keywords: applications / RFID, unidirectional channels, secret sharing, bilinear maps

Date: received 28 Jan 2008

Contact author: ajuels at rsa com

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Version: 20080129:142350 (All versions of this report)

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