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Third-party identity management usage on the web
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Database and information techniques. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Database and information techniques. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
NICTA, Sydney NSW, Australia.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Database and information techniques. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2014 (English)In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014, Vol. 8362 LNCS, 151-162 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Many websites utilize third-party identity management services to simplify access to their services. Given the privacy and security implications for end users, an important question is how websites select their third-party identity providers and how this impacts the characteristics of the emerging identity management landscape seen by the users. In this paper we first present a novel Selenium-based data collection methodology that identifies and captures the identity management relationships between sites and the intrinsic characteristics of the websites that form these relationships. Second, we present the first large-scale characterization of the third-party identity management landscape and the relationships that makes up this emerging landscape. As a reference point, we compare and contrast our observations with the somewhat more understood third-party content provider landscape. Interesting findings include a much higher skew towards websites selecting popular identity provider sites than is observed among content providers, with sites being more likely to form identity management relationships that have similar cultural, geographic, and general site focus. These findings are both positive and negative. For example, the high skew in usage places greater responsibility on fewer organizations that are responsible for the increased information leakage cost associated with highly aggregated personal information, but also reduces the users control of the access to this information. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014. Vol. 8362 LNCS, 151-162 p.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 (print), 1611-3349 (online)
National Category
Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-116404DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-04918-2_15ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84900600203ISBN: 9783319049175OAI: diva2:798451
15th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2014
Available from: 2015-03-26 Created: 2015-03-26 Last updated: 2016-08-22
In thesis
1. Web Authentication using Third-Parties in Untrusted Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Web Authentication using Third-Parties in Untrusted Environments
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With the increasing personalization of the Web, many websites allow users to create their own personal accounts. This has resulted in Web users often having many accounts on different websites, to which they need to authenticate in order to gain access. Unfortunately, there are several security problems connected to the use and re-use of passwords, the most prevalent authentication method currently in use, including eavesdropping and replay attacks.

Several alternative methods have been proposed to address these shortcomings, including the use of hardware authentication devices. However, these more secure authentication methods are often not adapted for mobile Web users who use different devices in different places and in untrusted environments, such as public Wi-Fi networks, to access their accounts.

We have designed a method for comparing, evaluating and designing authentication solutions suitable for mobile users and untrusted environments. Our method leverages the fact that mobile users often bring their own cell phones, and also takes into account different levels of security adapted for different services on the Web.

Another important trend in the authentication landscape is that an increasing number of websites use third-party authentication. This is a solution where users have an account on a single system, the identity provider, and this one account can then be used with multiple other websites. In addition to requiring fewer passwords, these services can also in some cases implement authentication with higher security than passwords can provide.

How websites select their third-party identity providers has privacy and security implications for end users. To better understand the security and privacy risks with these services, we present a data collection methodology that we have used to identify and capture third-party authentication usage on the Web. We have also characterized the third-party authentication landscape based on our collected data, outlining which types of third-parties are used by which types of sites, and how usage differs across the world. Using a combination of large-scale crawling, longitudinal manual testing, and in-depth login tests, our characterization and analysis has also allowed us to discover interesting structural properties of the landscape, differences in the cross-site relationships, and how the use of third-party authentication is changing over time.

Finally, we have also outlined what information is shared between websites in third-party authentication, dened risk classes based on shared data, and proled privacy leakage risks associated with websites and their identity providers sharing data with each other. Our ndings show how websites can strengthen the privacy of their users based on how these websites select and combine their third-parties and the data they allow to be shared.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 64 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1768
National Category
Computer Systems
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127304 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-127304 (DOI)9789176857533 (Print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-09-30, Visionen, hus B,, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
eLLIIT - The Linköping‐Lund Initiative on IT and Mobile Communications
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved

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