PROTECT: Efficient Password-Based Threshold Single-Sign-On Authentication for Mobile Users against Perpetual Leakage


Password-based single-sign-on authentication has been widely applied in mobile environments. It enables an identity server to issue authentication tokens to mobile users holding correct passwords. With an authentication token, one can request mobile services from related service providers without multiple registrations. However, if an adversary compromises the identity server, he can retrieve users' passwords by performing dictionary guessing attacks (DGA) and can overissue authentication tokens to break the security. In this paper, we propose a password-based threshold single-sign-on authentication scheme dubbed PROTECT that thwarts adversaries who can compromise identity server(s), where multiple identity servers are introduced to authenticate mobile users and issue authentication tokens in a threshold way. PROTECT supports key renewal that periodically updates the secret on each identity server to resist perpetual leakage of the secret. Furthermore, PROTECT is secure against off-line DGA: A credential used to authenticate a user is computed from the password and a server-side key. PROTECT is also resistant to online DGA and password testing attacks in an efficient way. We conduct a comprehensive performance evaluation of PROTECT, which demonstrates the high efficiency on the user side in terms of computation and communication and proves that it can be easily deployed on mobile devices.

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing