A Complete Characterization of Secure Human-Server Communication

David Basin, Saša Radomirović, Michael Schläepfer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Citations (Scopus)
256 Downloads (Pure)


Establishing a secure communication channel between two parties is a nontrivial problem, especially when one or both are humans. Unlike computers, humans cannot perform strong cryptographic operations without supporting technology, yet this technology may itself be compromised. We introduce a general communication topology model to facilitate the analysis of security protocols in this setting. We use it to completely characterize all topologies that allow secure communication between a human and a remote server via a compromised computer. These topologies are relevant for a variety of applications, including online banking and Internet voting. Our characterization can serve to guide the design of novel solutions for applications and to quickly exclude proposals that cannot possibly offer secure communication.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE 28th Computer Security Foundations Symposium, CSF 2015
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781467375382
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event28th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium - University of Verona, Polo Zanotto , Verona, Italy
Duration: 13 Jul 201517 Jul 2015
http://csf2015.di.univr.it/ (Link to Conference website)

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE
ISSN (Electronic)2374-8303


Conference28th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium
Abbreviated titleCSF 2015
Internet address


  • Formal modeling
  • Security ceremonies
  • Security protocols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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