Digital identity modelling and management

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2005
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User identification and authentication is the first and most important aspect of identity management in maintaining security and privacy of users and their assets. Due to the open nature of the Internet, without reliable identification and authentication, subsequent security and privacy protections become worthless. Amid the increase of the number of online services and users, identity fraud is on the increase. It has been widely reported that identity fraud costs the industry many billions of dollars each year around the world. Perpetrators use false identities to engage in fraudulent activities. False identities can be established in one of two ways: (i) creating fictitious identity by manufacturing, forging or fraudulently obtaining legitimate documentation to satisfy proof of identity (POI) requirements, and (ii) stealing or forging someone else’s identity from an actual person (living or dead) such as passwords, security tokens or biometric information. One of the effective ways to prevent identity fraud is to build defence against the use of false identities. Use of false identities can be prevented by implementing strong authentication, using multi-factor identity proofing (during service enrolment phase) and multifactor identity authentication (during service delivery sessions). To balance convenience and security, the strength of the authentication needs to match the required level of trust. If the implemented strength is lower than the required level of trust, it may introduce risk of fraudulent activities. On the other hand if the implemented strength is higher than the required level of trust, it may introduce inconvenience to the user, preventing the usage. To solve this issue, we propose CaMa (Credential Attribute Mapping) models to calculate the strength of authentication for multi-factor identity proofing and multifactor identity authentication scenarios. The strengths are calculated from the desired properties of identities and presented in two ways, (i) a process of summation of the weighting index of the desirable properties, and (ii) application of information theory. Further, a scheme for constructing digital representations of personal identities from conventional identity documents such as birth certificates, citizenship certificates, passports, driving licences, bank card and photo ID is also proposed. This digital representation of personal identity along with the concept of (i) active credentials, (ii) trusted identity providers, (iii) secure assertion protocol such as SAML and with the (iv) established policies and procedures, enable a user to assert their identity to a remote online service provider that request the proof of identity (POI) requirements. Thus, it will help freeing users from the limitation of personal presence during service enrolment. For example, in this way, it will be possible to open a bank account in the USA by remotely submitting trusted identity credentials online from Australia.
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