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Web Authentication using Third-Parties in Untrusted Environments
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Database and information techniques. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (ADIT)
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1768
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127304DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-127304ISBN: 9789176857533 (Print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-127304DiVA: diva2:921172
Public defence
2016-09-30, Visionen, hus B,, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
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
List of papers
1. Security Levels for Web Authentication using Mobile Phones
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Security Levels for Web Authentication using Mobile Phones
2011 (English)In: Privacy and Identity Management for Life / [ed] Simone Fischer-Hübner, Penny Duquenoy, Marit Hansen, Ronald Leenes and Ge Zhang, Boston: Springer , 2011, 130-143 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Mobile phones offer unique advantages for secure authentication: they are small and portable, provide multiple data transfer channels, and are nearly ubiquitous. While phones provide a flexible and capable platform, phone designs vary, and the security level of an authentication solution is influenced by the choice of channels and authentication methods. It can be a challenge to get a consistent overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the available alternatives. Existing guidelines for authentication usually do not consider the specific problems in mobile phone authentication. We provide a method for evaluating and designing authentication solutions using mobile phones, using an augmented version of the Electronic Authentication Guideline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boston: Springer, 2011
Series
, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1868-4238 ; 352
Keyword
Authentication, information security, mobile phone, security levels, evaluation method
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70058 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-20769-3_11 (DOI)978-3-642-20768-6 (ISBN)
Conference
PrimeLife/IFIP Summer School 2010
Available from: 2011-08-17 Created: 2011-08-17 Last updated: 2016-08-22
2. 2-clickAuth - Optical Challenge-Response Authentication using Mobile Handsets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>2-clickAuth - Optical Challenge-Response Authentication using Mobile Handsets
2011 (English)In: International Journal on Mobile Computing and Multimedia Communications, ISSN 1937-9412, E-ISSN 1937-9404, Vol. 3, no 2, 1-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Internet users often have usernames and passwords at multiple web sites. To simplify things, many sites support federated identity management, which enables users to have a single account allowing them to log on to different sites by authenticating to a single identity provider. Most identity providers perform authentication using a username and password. Should these credentials be compromised, all of the user’s accounts become compromised. Therefore a more secure authentication method is desirable. This paper implements 2-clickAuth, a multimedia-based challenge-response solution which uses a web camera and a camera phone for authentication. Two-dimensional barcodes are used for the communication between phone and computer, which allows 2-clickAuth to transfer relatively large amounts of data in a short period of time. 2-clickAuth is more secure than passwords while easy to use and distribute. 2-clickAuth is a viable alternative to passwords in systems where enhanced security is desired, but availability, ease-of-use, and cost cannot be compromised. This paper implements an identity provider in the OpenID federated identity management system that uses 2-clickAuth for authentication, making 2-clickAuth available to all users of sites that support OpenID, including Facebook, Sourceforge, and MySpace.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hershey, USA: IGI Global, 2011
Keyword
Authentication, federated identity management, mobile computing, OpenID, QR code, trusted device
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70063 (URN)10.4018/jmcmc.2011040101 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-08-17 Created: 2011-08-17 Last updated: 2016-08-22
3. Third-party identity management usage on the web
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Third-party identity management usage on the web
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
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 (print), 1611-3349 (online)
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-116404 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-04918-2_15 (DOI)2-s2.0-84900600203 (ScopusID)9783319049175 (ISBN)
Conference
15th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2014
Available from: 2015-03-26 Created: 2015-03-26 Last updated: 2016-08-22
4. A Look at the Third-Party Identity Management Landscape
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Look at the Third-Party Identity Management Landscape
2016 (English)In: IEEE Internet Computing, ISSN 1089-7801, E-ISSN 1941-0131, Vol. 20, no 2, 18-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many websites act as relying parties (RPs) by allowing access to their services via third-party identity providers (IDPs), such as Facebook and Google. Using IDPs simplifies account creation, login activity, and information sharing across websites. However, different websites use of IDPs can have significant security and privacy implications for users. Here, the authors provide an overview of third-party identity managements current landscape. Using datasets collected through manual identification and large-scale crawling, they answer questions related to which sites act as RPs, which sites are the most successful IDPs, and how different classes of RPs select their IDPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE COMPUTER SOC, 2016
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127053 (URN)10.1109/MIC.2016.38 (DOI)000372015500003 ()
Available from: 2016-04-13 Created: 2016-04-13 Last updated: 2016-08-22
5. Information Sharing and User Privacy in the Third-party Identity Management Landscape
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Information Sharing and User Privacy in the Third-party Identity Management Landscape
2015 (English)In: ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection: 30th IFIP TC 11 International Conference, SEC 2015, Hamburg, Germany, May 26-28, 2015, Proceedings / [ed] Hannes Federrath, Dieter Gollmann, Springer, 2015, 174-188 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The cross-site information sharing and authorized actions of third-party identity management can have significant privacy implications for the users. In this paper, we use a combination of manual analysis of identified third-party identity management relationships and targeted case studies to (i) capture how the protocol usage and third-party selection is changing, (ii) profile what information is requested to be shared (and actions to be performed) between websites, and (iii) identify privacy issues and practical problems that occur when using multiple accounts (associated with these services). By characterizing and quantifying the third-party relationships based on their cross-site information sharing, the study highlights differences in the privacy leakage risks associated with different classes of websites, and provides concrete evidence for how the privacy risks are increasing. For example, many news and file/video-sharing sites ask users to authorize the site to post information to the third-party website. We also observe a general increase in the breadth of information that is shared across websites, and find that due to usage of multiple third-party websites, in many cases, the user can lose (at least) partial control over which identities they can merge/relate and the information that is shared/posted on their behalf.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015
Series
, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1868-4238 ; 455
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117543 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-18467-8_12 (DOI)000364779100012 ()978-3-319-18466-1 (print) (ISBN)978-3-319-18467-8 (online) (ISBN)
Conference
30th IFIP TC 11 International Conference, SEC 2015, Hamburg, Germany, May 26-28, 2015
Available from: 2015-05-04 Created: 2015-05-04 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved
6. Longitudinal Analysis of the Third-party Authentication Landscape
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Longitudinal Analysis of the Third-party Authentication Landscape
2016 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Many modern websites offer single sign-on (SSO) services, which allow the user to use an existing account with a third-party website such as Facebook to authenticate. When using SSO the user must approve an app-rights agreement that specifies what data related to the user can be shared between the two websites and any actions (e.g., posting comments) that the origin website is allowed to perform on behalf of the user on the third-party provider (e.g., Facebook). Both cross-site data sharing and actions performed on behalf of the user can have significant privacy implications. In this paper we present a longitudinal study of the third-party authentication landscape, its structure, and the protocol usage, data sharing, and actions associated with individual third-party relationships. The study captures the current state, changes in the structure, protocol usage, and information leakage risks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Internet Society, 2016
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127301 (URN)10.14722/ueop.2016.23008 (DOI)1-891562-44-4 (ISBN)
Conference
NDSS Workshop on Understanding and Enhancing Online Privacy Workshop (UEOP@NDSS).21-24 February 2016 Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa in San Diego, California
Available from: 2016-04-19 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved

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