Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
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White Paper

Establishing Trusted Identities in Disconnected Edge Environments

  • Abstract

    When establishing communication between two nodes, identification, authentication, and authorization provide the information and assurances necessary for the nodes to trust each other. A common solution for establishing trust between two nodes is to create and share credentials in advance, and then use a third-party, online trusted authority to validate the credentials of the nodes. However, the characteristics of tactical environments - such as those in which first responders, search and rescue teams, and military personnel operate - do not consistently provide access to that third-party authority or certificate repository because they are DIL environments (disconnected, intermittent, limited). The goal of this paper is to present a solution for establishing trusted identities in disconnected environments based on secure key generation and exchange in the field. For the implementation and evaluation of the solution we use our open source implementation of a tactical cloudlets system that is targeted at supporting disconnected operations.

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