On Compression of Cryptographic Keys

Aldar C-F. Chan
Arxiv ID: 0712.4057Last updated: 9/21/2021
Any secured system can be modeled as a capability-based access control system in which each user is given a set of secret keys of the resources he is granted access to. In some large systems with resource-constrained devices, such as sensor networks and RFID systems, the design is sensitive to memory or key storage cost. With a goal to minimize the maximum users' key storage, key compression based on key linking, that is, deriving one key from another without compromising security, is studied. A lower bound on key storage needed for a general access structure with key derivation is derived. This bound demonstrates the theoretic limit of any systems which do not trade off security and can be treated as a negative result to provide ground for designs with security tradeoff. A concrete, provably secure key linking scheme based on pseudorandom functions is given. Using the key linking framework, a number of key pre-distribution schemes in the literature are analyzed.

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