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3 - Authentication and digital signature

from I - E-security

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 September 2009

Mohammad Obaidat
Monmouth University, New Jersey
Noureddine Boudriga
Université du 7 Novembre à Carthage, Tunis
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This chapter considers the techniques developed to provide assurance that the identity of a user is as declared and that a transmitted message has not been changed after its signature. This prevents impersonation and maintains message integrity. Weak authentication and strong authentication schemes are addressed and the most common authentication services are also elaborated on in this chapter.


As stated in the previous chapters, entity authentication can be defined as the process through which the identity of an entity (such as an individual, a computer, an application, or a network) is demonstrated. Authentication involves two parties, a prover (called also claimant) and a verifier (called also recipient). The prover presents its identity and a proof of that identity. The verifier ensures that the prover is, in fact, who he/she claims to be by checking the proof. Authentication is distinct from identification, which aims at determining whether an individual is known to the system. It is also different from authorization, which can be defined as the process of granting the user access to specific system resources based on his/her profile and the local/global policy controlling the resource access. In the following sections, however, we will use the terms identification and authorization to designate the same concept.

Message authentication, on the other hand, provides the assurance that a message has not been modified during its transmission.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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