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Credential Management

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Institute of Standards and Technology
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 906-80
Amount: $74,900.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2004
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
56 Beaver St., Ste 305
New York, NY 10004
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Yiannis Tsiounis
 (917) 660-3913
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

The ability to electronically identify users and their devices is increasingly becoming an integral part of our interaction with computing platforms. Whether an operating system is contacting the manufacturer's web site to confirm its proper registration and payment today, or a cell phone is broadcasting entrance credentials to a secure physical site tomorrow, it is apparent that identifying information about ourselves, our computers and the devices that we carry or use is being disseminated at an accelerated pace. This highlights the need for guaranteeing the security of these credentials as well as safeguard user privacy in the face of such wide credential dissemination. Here we propose a credential system that guarantees security and privacy. In addition, since unconditional privacy can create significant problems, such as anonymous threats by users, or untraceable virus distribution by devices, the proposed credential system includes a distributed version of privacy control - i.e., the user has the ability to select which party (or authority) is allowed to revoke his privacy. This provides similar controls to, e.g., a corporation selecting a given State in which to defend against litigation, or a parent deciding that he trusts his neighbor, but not the government, to trace the whereabouts of his children.

COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: In the military, a secure and private credential system could enable agents to relay critical intelligence information back to decision makers and other forces without revealing their identity. Government agencies can also use a secure and private credential system to allow access of different clearance levels to central databases, with disclosing to the system administrators the identity of the person who is making the access. Or, departments like NIH and the Centers for Disease Control may choose to track the movement of infected persons during outbreaks, or to control movements of livestock in order to prevent outbreaks, with revealing that information to others. Commercial applications include usage of credentials on a device level to control software piracy, media piracy, to facilitate software collaboration, etc., and on a user level to allow remote collaboration, remote access, and so on.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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