Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2020/1156

Verifiable Hierarchical Key Assignment Schemes

Anna Lisa Ferrara and Chiara Ricciardi

Abstract: A hierarchical key assignment scheme (HKAS) is a method to assign some private information and encryption keys to a set of classes in a partially ordered hierarchy, so that the private information of a higher class together with some public information can be used to derive the keys of all classes lower down in the hierarchy. Historically, HKAS have been introduced to enforce multi-level access control, where it can be safely assumed that the public information is made available in some authenticated form. Subsequently, HKAS have found application in several other contexts where, instead, it would be convenient to certify the trustworthiness of public information. Such application contexts include key management for IoT and for emerging distributed data acquisition systems such as wireless sensor networks. In this paper, motivated by the need of accommodating this additional security requirement, we first introduce a new cryptographic primitive: Verifiable Hierarchical Key Assignment Scheme (VHKAS). A VHKAS is a key assignment scheme with a verification procedure that allows honest users to verify whether public information has been maliciously modified so as to induce an honest user to obtain an incorrect key. Then, we design and analyse verifiable hierarchical key assignment schemes which are provably secure. Our solutions support key update for compromised encryption keys by making a limited number of changes to public and private information.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols /

Date: received 22 Sep 2020

Contact author: anna lisa ferrara at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: cryptographic key assignment, access control

Version: 20200925:183917 (All versions of this report)

Short URL: ia.cr/2020/1156


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