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A Time-Bound Cryptographic Key Assignment Scheme for Access Control in a Hierarchy
Tzeng W. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering14 (1):182-188,2002.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Nov 18 2003

A new twist on the cryptographic approach to controlling access to information that is classified into partially ordered categories is presented in this paper. This approach would apply to file storage of information labeled with government-like security classes, as well as to other areas, such as that of broadcast media with partially ordered subscription options.

The most recent work on this problem that is cited is a paper written in 1990. The author’s approach is to associate each encrypted item with its creation date to a chosen granularity. Then, one can generate user keys that enable access in a way that is limited, not only to the authorized classes, but also to a chosen date interval. Although one could, in principle, solve the problem by combining date intervals into the partial ordering, that approach is not practical when the date range is large.

The paper demonstrates an ingenious way to use Lucas functions, so that the overhead in key computation and storage is both small and independent of the date range. The paper includes a helpful amount of mathematical background, and is both well organized and readable.

Reviewer:  Jon Millen Review #: CR128590 (0404-0461)
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