Asynchronous Process Calculi for Specification and Verification of Information Hiding Protocols

Romain Beauxis 1, 2
2 COMETE - Concurrency, Mobility and Transactions
LIX - Laboratoire d'informatique de l'École polytechnique [Palaiseau], Inria Saclay - Ile de France
Abstract : The work presented in this document in an account of my work as a PhD student at LIX, Ecole Polytechnique, in the COMETE team under the supervision of Catuscia Palamidessi. During these studies, I have been in interested in the various aspects of concurrency covered by the COMETE team activities. The initial goal of my thesis was to investigate the aspects related to process calculi based formalisms to express and analyze Security Protocols. The ultimate goal was to makes some advances towards the automatic verification of security properties. In particular, I was interested in information-hiding protocols which require no cryptography, but normally use randomized mechanisms and therefore exhibit probabilistic behavior. Information hiding protocols are used typically in networks, and they are run by parties that reside in different locations of the system, and therefore interact asynchronously. The first work that I did was to try to give a correct meaning to the various notions of formal asynchronous communications used in various models, in particular between the field of concurrency and the field of distributed computing, where this was a recurrent question. These results are presented in the first part of this document. Being interested in the formal aspects of information-hiding problems, I took part in the preparation of the journal version of [BP09], and started preparing an automated probabilistic anonymity checker based on the formalism presented in this document. This lead to an initial draft of an implementation presented in http://vamp.gforge.inria.fr/. The formalism for this analysis is presented in the fourth part of this document. Another aspect of the verification of information hiding properties is that it requires to compute the probabilities of the possible outcomes for each scheduler. For this reason, this application quickly turned out to be highly inefficient. However, in an asynchronous system, a lot of transitions are confluent, which means that when evaluating a process, it is only necessary to choose one of the two confluent branches. Hence, I have worked on formalizing the possible optimizations based on the possible confluent computations. This work is presented in the second part of the document. Another interesting aspects of probabilistic protocols is the possibility to con- sider infinite runs. By doing such consideration, it is possible to verify the correction of some probabilistic protocols. For instance, in the case of the Crowds routing protocol, presented in Section 5.3, the protocol is considered correct because the probability of running into an infinite execution is null, hence the message will eventually be delivered. For this reason, I got interested in extending the meaning of a asynchronous probabilistic computations to the case of an infinite execution. As a matter of fact, the combination of infinite computation, confluence and probability is not easy to treat in the general case. The problem of confluence in concurrency is solved in an elegant way in an asyn- chronous paradigm called Concurrent Constraint Programming (CCP). Hence, I decided to study infinite computations in a probabilistic version of CCP. The problem, however, is that the meaning of the result of an infinite probabilistic computation was still an open problem also in that context. Hence, I studied a possible way to define this result, using the notion of valuations and sober spaces, and applied it to give a denotational semantics to probabilistic CCP, including infinite computations. This work is presented in the third part of the document. I have chosen a specific order for the various parts of this document that follows the various formal models that are used, in order to present each result along with the corresponding formalism. * In the first and second parts, I present the formal concurrent models, and in the particular asynchronous ones. * In the third part, I present the probabilistic CCP. This part also presents mathematic structures for the representation of infinite probabilistic executions. * Eventually, an application of both asynchronous and probabilistic models to the case of probabilistic information hiding is presented in the fourth part.
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Romain Beauxis. Asynchronous Process Calculi for Specification and Verification of Information Hiding Protocols. Cryptography and Security [cs.CR]. Ecole Polytechnique X, 2009. English. ⟨tel-00772693⟩

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