Unformatted text preview: to resolve disputes. The protocol is constructed so that there cannot be any disputes. If one of the parties tries to cheat, the other party immediately detects the cheating and the protocol stops. Whatever the cheating party hoped would happen by cheating, doesn’t happen. In the best of all possible worlds, every protocol would be self-enforcing. Unfortunately, there is not a self-enforcing protocol for every situation. Attacks against Protocols
Cryptographic attacks can be directed against the cryptographic algorithms used in protocols, against the cryptographic techniques used to implement the algorithms and protocols, or against the protocols themselves. Since this section of the book discusses protocols, I will assume that the cryptographic algorithms and techniques are secure. I will only examine attacks against the protocols. People can try various ways to attack a protocol. Someone not involved in the protocol can eavesdrop on some or all of the protocol. This is called a passive attack, because the attacker does not affect the protocol. All he can do is observe the protocol and attempt to gain information. This kind of attack corresponds to a ciphertext-only attack, as discussed in Section 1.1. Since passive attacks are difficult to detect, protocols try to prevent passive attacks rather than detect them. In these protocols, the part of the eavesdropper will be played by Eve. Alternatively, an attacker could try to alter the protocol to his own advantage. He could pretend to be someone else, introduce new messages in the protocol, delete existing messages, substitute one message for another, replay old messages, interrupt a communications channel, or alter stored information in a computer. These are called active attacks, because they require active intervention. The form of these attacks depends on the network. Passive attackers try to gain information about the parties involved in the protocol. They collect messages passing among various parties and attempt to cryptanalyze them. Active attacks, on the other hand, can have much more diverse objectives. The attacker could be interested in obtaining information, degrading system perfo...
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- Fall '10
- Cryptography, Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography, EarthWeb, Search Search Tips