Perimeter

1/12/2012
09:56 AM
Taher Elgamal
Taher Elgamal
Commentary
50%
50%

Identity Versus Authentication

Distinguishing between identity and authentication

I would like to provide my point of view on the relationship and differences between what we call identity and what authentication means in the online world.

The identity determination is important for establishing accounts with various online services, for example. A lot of effort is under way to link a person’s online identity to his real-world identity. This will be quite useful in preventing identity theft from propagating more. If an impersonator succeeds in opening an account in someone else’s name, then it would be quite difficult to discover that event before damage has been done.

Authentication, on the other hand, is the act of proving to the online service that someone is the owner of that account. During the account establishment process, or perhaps afterward, the identity of the user is linked to the authentication method used by the service, therefore making the follow-on sign-on operations easy and secure for the end user. One can easily predict that efforts like the Google street identity would make it much easier for a lot of Internet services to manage the process of ensuring the ownership of an account to its user.

The current efforts in the industry to improve the strong authentication processes will also improve the usability and security of accessing the sites from different client devices. The new mobile devices will contain different potential authentication technologies that can be used easily to authenticate users.

Recognized in the industry as the "inventor of SSL," Dr. Taher Elgamal led the SSL efforts at Netscape. He also wrote the SSL patent and promoted SSL as the Internet security standard within standard committees and the industry. Dr. Elgamal invented several industry and government standards in data security and digital signatures area, including the DSS government standard for digital signatures. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Election Websites, Back-End Systems Most at Risk of Cyberattack in Midterms
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/14/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-13106
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-15
Cheetahmobile CM Launcher 3D - Theme, wallpaper, Secure, Efficient, 5.0.3, 2017-09-19, Android application uses a hard-coded key for encryption. Data stored using this key can be decrypted by anyone able to access this key.
CVE-2017-13107
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-15
Live.me - live stream video chat, 3.7.20, 2017-11-06, Android application uses a hard-coded key for encryption. Data stored using this key can be decrypted by anyone able to access this key.
CVE-2017-13108
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-15
DFNDR Security Antivirus, Anti-hacking & Cleaner, 5.0.9, 2017-11-01, Android application uses a hard-coded key for encryption. Data stored using this key can be decrypted by anyone able to access this key.
CVE-2017-13100
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-15
DistinctDev, Inc., The Moron Test, 6.3.1, 2017-05-04, iOS application uses a hard-coded key for encryption. Data stored using this key can be decrypted by anyone able to access this key.
CVE-2017-13101
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-15
Musical.ly Inc., musical.ly - your video social network, 6.1.6, 2017-10-03, iOS application uses a hard-coded key for encryption. Data stored using this key can be decrypted by anyone able to access this key.