Trust Management for Secure Information Flows

In both the commercial and defence sectors a compelling need is emerging for the rapid, yet secure, dissemination of information across traditional organisational boundaries. In this paper we present a novel trust management paradigm for securing inter-organisational information flows that aims to address the threat of information leakage. Our trust management system is built around an economic model and a trustbased encryption/decryption primitive wherein: (i) entities purchase a key from a Trust Authority (TA) which is bound to a voluntarily reported trust score r, (ii) information flows are encrypted such that a flow tagged with a recipient trust score R can be decrypted by the recipient only if it possesses the key corresponding to a voluntarily reported score r R, (iii) the economic model (the price of keys) is set such that a dishonest entity wishing to maximise information leakage is incentivised to report an honest trust score r to the TA. This paper makes two important contributions. First, we quantify fundamental tradeoffs on information flow rate, information leakage rate and error in estimating recipient trust score R. Second, we present a suite of key encryption algorithms that realise our trust-based encryption/decryption primitive and identify computation and communication tradeoffs between them.

By: Mudhakar Srivatsa; Shane Balfe; Kenny Patterson; Pankaj Rohatgi

Published in: RC24608 in 2008


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