Formal eavesdropping and its computational interpretation

Abadi, Martin and Jurjens, Jan (2001). Formal eavesdropping and its computational interpretation. In: Theoretical Aspects of Computer Software: 4th International Symposium, TACS 2001, Sendai, Japan, October 29-31, 2001, Proceedings (Kobayashi, Naoki and Pierce, Benjamin C. eds.), Lecture Notes In Computer Science, Springer, Berlin, pp. 82–94.



We compare two views of symmetric cryptographic primitives in the context of the systems that use them. We express those systems in a simple programming language; each of the views yields a semantics for the language. One of the semantics treats cryptographic operations formally (that is, symbolically). The other semantics is more detailed and computational; it treats cryptographic operations as functions on bitstrings. Each semantics leads to a definition of equivalence of systems with respect to eavesdroppers. We establish the soundness of the formal definition with respect to the computational one. This result provides a precise computational justification for formal reasoning about security against eavesdroppers.

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