On Building Secure Communication Systems

Jose Nuno Carvalho Quaresma

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

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This thesis presents the Guided System Development (GSD) framework, which aims at supporting the development of secure communication systems.

A communication system is specified in a language similar to the Alice and Bob notation, a simple and intuitive language used to describe the global perspective of the communications between different principals. The notation used in the GSD framework extends that notation with constructs that allow the security requirements of the messages to be described.

From that specification, the developer is guided through a semi-automatic translation that enables the verification and implementation of the system. The translation is semi-automatic because the developer has the option of choosing which implementation to use in order to achieve the specified security requirements. The implementation options are given by plugins defined in the framework. The framework’s flexibility allows for the addition of constructs that model new security properties as well as new plugins that implement the security properties.

In order to provide higher security assurances, the system specification can be verified by formal methods tools such as the Beliefs and Knowledge (BAK) tool — developed specifically for the GSD framework —, LySatool and OFMC. The framework’s flexibility and the existence of the system model in different perspectives — an overall global perspective and an endpoint perspective —allow the connection to new formal methods tools.

The modeled system is also translated into code that implements the communication skeleton of the system and can then be used by the system designer. New output languages can also easily be added to the GSD framework.

Additionally, a prototype of the GSD framework was implemented and an ex-ample of using the GSD framework in a real world system is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages139
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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