Killing the Password and Preserving Privacy with Device-Centric and Attribute-based Authentication

Kostantinos Papadamou, Savvas Zannettou, Bogdan Chifor, Sorin Teican, George Gugulea, Annamaria Recupero, Alberto Caponi, Claudio Pisa, Giuseppe Bianchi, Steven Gevers, Christos Xenakis, Michael Sirivianos

Current authentication methods on the Web have serious weaknesses. First, services heavily rely on the traditional password paradigm, which diminishes the end-users' security and usability. Second, the lack of attribute-based authentication does not allow anonymity-preserving access to services. Third, users have multiple online accounts that often reflect distinct identity aspects. This makes proving combinations of identity attributes hard on the users. In this paper, we address these weaknesses by proposing a privacy-preserving architecture for device-centric and attribute-based authentication based on: 1) the seamless integration between usable/strong device-centric authentication methods and federated login solutions; 2) the separation of the concerns for Authorization, Authentication, Behavioral Authentication and Identification to facilitate incremental deployability, wide adoption and compliance with NIST assurance levels; and 3) a novel centralized component that allows end-users to perform identity profile and consent management, to prove combinations of fragmented identity aspects, and to perform account recovery in case of device loss. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first effort towards fusing the aforementioned techniques under an integrated architecture. This architecture effectively deems the password paradigm obsolete with minimal modification on the service provider's software stack.

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