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A Hierarchical Two-Tier One-way Hash Chain Protocol for Secure Internet Transactions

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Executive Summary

One-way hash chains are a popular cryptographic technique used in many security applications. In this paper, the authors present a Two-Tier One-way Hash Chain (TTOHC) protocol to secure cookie-based Internet transactions. The use of cookies as a cheaper alternative to secure Internet sessions is extremely dangerous since session cookies can be easily sniffed out resulting in session hijacking. By utilizing different cryptographic hash functions arranged in two tiers, their hierarchical TTOHC protocol gives significant performance improvement over previously proposed solutions for securing Internet cookies. A detailed Java testbed has been used to evaluate alternative configurations for the hierarchical scheme and investigate the optimal set up of the two tiers. Detailed performance results obtained from this testbed are presented and analyzed.

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