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Computación y Sistemas

Print version ISSN 1405-5546

Comp. y Sist. vol.12 n.1 México Jul./Sep. 2008

 

Formal Support to Security Protocol Development: A Survey

 

Soporte Formal para el Desarrollo de Protocolos de Seguridad: una Visión General

 

Juan Carlos López Pimentel and Raúl Monroy

 

Computer Science Department Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México Carretera al lago de Guadalupe, Km 3.5, Atizapán de Zaragoza, 52926, México juan.pimentel@itesm.mx, raulm@itesm.mx

 

Article received on April 16, 2008
Accepted on June 20, 2008

 

Abstract

Security protocols aim to allow two or more principals to establish a secure communication over a hostile network, such as the Internet. The design of security protocols is particularly error–prone, because it is difficult to anticipate what an intruder may achieve interacting through a number of protocol runs, claiming to be an honest participant. Thus, the verification of security protocols has attracted a lot of interest in the formal methods community and as a result lots of verification techniques/tools, as well as good practices for protocol design, have appeared in the two last decades. In this paper, we describe the state of the art in automated tools that support security protocol development. This mainly involves tools for protocol verification and, to a lesser extent, for protocol synthesis and protocol diagnosis and repair. Also, we give an overview of the most significant principles for the design of security protocols and of the major problems that still need to be addressed in order to ease the development of security protocols.

Keywords: Formal methods, security protocols, protocol synthesis, protocol diagnosis and repair.

 

Resumen

Los Protocolos de Seguridad tienen como objetivo permitir que dos o más agentes puedan establecer una comunicación de manera segura en una red a pesar de ambientes hostiles, tales como Internet. El diseño de estos protocolos es particularmente propenso a errores, por eso, es difícil anticipar lo que un intruso puede lograr cuando, pretendiendo ser un participante honesto, interactúa con una cantidad considerable de corridas del protocolo. Así, la verificación de protocolos de seguridad ha atraído un gran interés en la comunidad de los métodos formales, dando como resultado la aparición, en las dos últimas décadas, de una gran cantidad de técnicas/herramientas, además de buenas prácticas para mejorar su diseño. En este artículo, describimos el estado del arte de las herramientas automatizadas que soportan el desarrollo de protocolos de seguridad. Principalmente, incluímos herramientas para su verificación, y en menor grado, trabajos sobre su síntesis; además de métodos en el diagnóstico y reparación de protocolos incorrectos. También, damos un resumen de los principios más importantes para mejorar el diseño de esta clase de protocolos y los principales problemas que todavía necesitan ser resueltos para facilitar su desarrollo.

Palabras claves: Métodos formales, protocolos de seguridad, síntesis de protocolos, diagnóstico y reparación de protocolos.

 

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