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**The Diffie-Hellman Algorithm**

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Overview Introduction Implementation Example Applications Conclusion

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**Introduction Discovered by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman**

“New Directions in Cryptography” Diffie-Hellman key agreement protocol Allows two users to exchange a secret key Requires no prior secrets Real-time over an untrusted network

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Introduction Security of transmission is critical for many network and Internet applications Requires users to share information in a way that others can’t decipher the flow of information “It is insufficient to protect ourselves with laws; we need to protect ourselves with mathematics.” -Bruce Schneier

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Introduction Based on the difficulty of computing discrete logarithms of large numbers. No known successful attack strategies* Requires two large numbers, one prime (P), and (G), a primitive root of P

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**Implementation P and G are both publicly available numbers**

P is at least 512 bits Users pick private values a and b Compute public values x = ga mod p y = gb mod p Public values x and y are exchanged

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Implementation Copyright, 2001 by NetIP, Inc. and Keith Palmgren, CISSP.

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**Implementation Compute shared, private key ka = ya mod p kb = xb mod p**

Algebraically it can be shown that ka = kb Users now have a symmetric secret key to encrypt

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Implementation Copyright, 2001 by NetIP, Inc. and Keith Palmgren, CISSP.

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Example Two Internet users, Alice and Bob wish to have a secure conversation. They decide to use the Diffie-Hellman protocol

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**Example Bob and Alice are unable to talk on the untrusted network.**

Who knows who’s listening?

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**Example Alice and Bob get public numbers**

P = 23, G = 9 Alice and Bob compute public values X = 94 mod 23 = mod 23 = 6 Y = 93 mod 23 = 729 mod = 16 Alice and Bob exchange public numbers

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**Example Alice and Bob compute symmetric keys**

ka = ya mod p = 164 mod 23 = 9 kb = xb mod p = 63 mod 23 = 9 Alice and Bob now can talk securely!

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Applications Diffie-Hellman is currently used in many protocols, namely: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) Secure Shell (SSH) Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

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**Man-in-the-Middle Attack**

Alice and Bob wants to communicate. Darth is a middle man. Darth prepares for the attack by generating two random private keys Kd1 and Kd2 and then computing the public keys Yd1 and Yd2. Darth intercepts YA and transmits Yd1 to Bob. He also calculates K2 (secret key between Alice and Darth). Bob receives Kd1 and calculates K1. Bob transmits YB to Alice. Darth intercepts YB and transmits Kd2 to Alice and also calculates K1. Alice receives Kd2 and calculates K2.

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**Digital Signatures have looked at message authentication**

but does not address issues of lack of trust digital signatures provide the ability to: verify author, date & time of signature authenticate message contents be verified by third parties to resolve disputes hence include authentication function with additional capabilities

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**Digital Signature Properties**

must depend on the message signed must use information unique to sender to prevent both forgery and denial must be relatively easy to produce must be relatively easy to recognize & verify be practical save digital signature in storage

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**Direct Digital Signatures**

involve only sender & receiver assumed receiver has sender’s public-key digital signature made by sender signing entire message or hash with private-key can encrypt using receivers public-key important that sign first then encrypt message & signature security depends on sender’s private-key Direct Digital Signatures involve the direct application of public-key algs. But are dependent on security of the sender’s private-key. Have problems if lost/stolen and signatures forged. Need time-stamps and timely key revocation.

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**Arbitrated Digital Signatures**

involves use of arbiter A validates any signed message then dated and sent to recipient requires suitable level of trust in arbiter can be implemented with either private or public-key algorithms arbiter may or may not see message See Stallings Table 13.1 for various alternatives

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