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Escrow free encryption supporting cryptographic workflow

Sattam Al-Riyami, John Malone-Lee, Nigel Smart, Escrow free encryption supporting cryptographic workflow. International Journal of Information Security, 5(4). ISSN 1615-5262, pp. 217–230. September 2006. No electronic version available.


Since Boneh and Franklin published their seminal paper on identity based encryption (IBE) using the Weil pairing, there has been a great deal of interest in cryptographic primitives based on elliptic-curve pairings. One particularly interesting application has been to control access to data, via possibly complex policies. In this paper we continue the research in this vein. We present an encryption scheme such that the receiver of an encrypted message can only decrypt if it satisfies a particular policy chosen by the sender at the time of encryption. Unlike standard IBE, our encryption scheme is escrow free in that no credential-issuing authority (or colluding set of credential-issuing authorities) is able to decrypt ciphertexts itself, providing the users' public keys are properly certified. In addition we describe a security model for the scenario in question and provide proofs of security for our scheme (in the random oracle model).

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