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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H043454/1
Title: Privacy and Attestation Technologies
Principal Investigator: Smart, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Warinschi, Professor B
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Hewlett Packard IBM UK Ltd Trend Micro
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2010 Ends: 30 September 2014 Value (£): 497,178
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fundamentals of Computing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
16 Mar 2010 ICT Prioritisation Panel (March 10) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal aims to investigate two related cryptographic protocols. These protocols not only use similar building blocks, but they also have similar aims. Namely to provide strong security gaurantees re authenticity, whilst at the same time ensuring user privacy.Group signatures were introduced in 1991 by Chaum and van Heyst. Such schemes provide for members of a group to anonymously sign a message on behalf of the whole group. As an example application, they allow an employee of a company to sign a document in such a way that the verifier need only know that is was signed by an employee, but not the particular employee involved. Control of the group membership is provided by a group manager, who can add members to the group, and also reveal the identity of signers in the case of disputes. In some situations these two tasks, adding members and revoking anonymity, are separated into two roles.Direct Anonymous Attestation (DAA) is a mechanism for a remote user to provide a verifier with some assurance, via a signature, that he uses software and/or hardware from a trusted sets of software and/or hardware respectively. In addition, the user is able to control if and when a verifier is able to link two such signatures, i.e. to determine whether or not they were produced by the same platform. The verifier is never able to tell which particular platform produced a given signature or pair of signatures. As such this is a very similar anonymity guarantee to that provided by group signatures, In fact, one can think of group signatures as non-interactive versions of DAA schemes which offer in addition to the guarantees of the later the ability to trace users. The close relation between these primitives is also visible in the techniques used for already proposed DAA and group signature schemes which are again quite similar.To understand the uses and importance of DAA protocols consider the following example. A user wants to send a confidential document from his or her desktop to a shared printer. The user wants to be assured that the printer hardware or software has not been tampered with. In particular, the user wants to be assured that a copy of the confidential document does not get sent from the printer to somewhere else, or stored on the printer. In this particular scenario, the printer can use DAA to provide the desktop of the user with some assurance that it has not been tampered with.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk