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Design and implementation of a public key-based group collaboration system

Authors
Journal
Computer Communications
0140-3664
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
34
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.comcom.2010.02.030
Keywords
  • Authorization
  • Authorization Rule
  • Certificate Closure
  • Delegation
  • Revocation
Disciplines
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics

Abstract

Abstract We present PubKey-Wiki, a public key-based wiki group collaboration system. PubKey-Wiki allows users to authenticate themselves using public-key cryptography and gain authorizations using digital certificates. By using public key-based user authentication, users’ passwords are not sent across the network and are not stored on the web server’s host machine. Using digital certificates to authorize users to access protected files facilitates delegation of authority and simpler access control list (ACL) management, and allows the ability of a user to pass authorizations onto other users without needing to connect to the wiki’s server. The paper introduces a new approach to revocation in which revocation of certificates and revocation of public keys are handled separately and take effect immediately. The paper also introduces an algorithm, CertClosure, that computes the transitive closure of a set of certificates that contain authorization information. When a user adds or removes a certificate from his certificate directory in PubKey-Wiki, PubKey-Wiki uses the CertClosure algorithm to derive authorization rules. PubKey-Wiki stores these authorization rules in a lookup table where they can be easily referenced. When a user tries to access a protected file, PubKey-Wiki looks up and uses the relevant authorization rules to efficiently make an access control decision.

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