UACAP: A Unified Auxiliary Channel Authentication Protocol

TitleUACAP: A Unified Auxiliary Channel Authentication Protocol
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMayrhofer, R, Fuss, J, Ion, I
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Date PublishedApril

Authenticating spontaneous interactions between devices and users is challenging for several reasons: the wireless (and therefore invisible) nature of device communication, the heterogeneous nature of devices and lack of appropriate user interfaces in mobile devices, and the requirement for unobtrusive user interaction. The most promising approach that has been proposed in literature involves the exploitation of so-called auxiliary channels for authentication to bridge the gap between usability and security. This concept has spawned the independent development of various authentication methods and research prototypes, that, unfortunately, remain hard to compare and interchange and are rarely available to potential application developers. We present a novel, unified cryptographic authentication protocol framework (UACAP) to unify these approaches and analyze its security properties. This protocol and a selection of auxiliary channels aimed at authentication of mobile devices has been implemented and released in an open source ubiquitous authentication toolkit (OpenUAT). We also present an initial user study evaluating four of these channels.