Alpha-Beta Privacy

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The formal specification of privacy goals in symbolic protocol models has proved to be not quite trivial so far. The most widely used approach in formal methods is based on the static equivalence of frames in the applied pi-calculus, basically asking whether or not the intruder is able to distinguish two given worlds. But then a subtle question emerges: how can we be sure that we have specified all pairs of worlds to properly reflect our intuitive privacy goal? To address this problem, we introduce in this paper a novel and declarative way to specify privacy goals, called (α,β)-privacy. This new approach is based on specifying two formulae α and β in first-order logic with Herbrand universes, where α reflects the intentionally released information and β includes the actual cryptographic (“technical”) messages the intruder can see. Then (α,β)-privacy means that the intruder cannot derive any “non-technical” statement from β that he cannot derive from α already. We describe by a variety of examples how this notion can be used in practice. Even though (α,β)-privacy does not directly contain a notion of distinguishing between worlds, there is a close relationship to static equivalence of frames that we investigate formally. This allows us to justify (and criticize) the specifications that are currently used in verification tools, and obtain a decision procedure for a large fragment of (α,β)-privacy
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDTU Compute
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesDTU Compute Technical Report-2018

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