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CONIKS: Bringing Key Transparency to End Users

Author(s): Melara, Marcela S; Blankstein, Aaron; Bonneau, Joseph; Felten, Edward W; Freedman, Michael J

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Abstract: We present CONIKS, an end-user key verification service capable of integration in end-to-end encrypted communication systems. CONIKS builds on transparency log proposals for web server certificates but solves several new challenges specific to key verification for end users. CONIKS obviates the need for global third-party monitors and enables users to efficiently monitor their own key bindings for consistency, downloading less than 20 kB per day to do so even for a provider with billions of users. CONIKS users and providers can collectively audit providers for non-equivocation, and this requires downloading a constant 2.5 kB per provider per day. Additionally, CONIKS preserves the level of privacy offered by today’s major communication services, hiding the list of usernames present and even allowing providers to conceal the total number of users in the system.
Publication Date: 2015
Citation: Melara, Marcela S., Aaron Blankstein, Joseph Bonneau, Edward W. Felten, and Michael J. Freedman. "CONIKS: Bringing Key Transparency to End Users." In 24th USENIX Security Symposium (2015): pp. 383-398.
Pages: 383 - 398
Type of Material: Conference Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: 24th USENIX Security Symposium
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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