Comparing State Spaces in Automatic Security Protocol Analysis

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Executive Summary

There are several automatic tools available for the symbolic analysis of security protocols. The models underlying these tools differ in many aspects. Some of the differences have already been formally related to each other in the literature, such as difference in protocol execution models or definitions of security properties. However, there is an important difference between analysis tools that has not been investigated in depth before: the explored state space. Some tools explore all possible behaviors, whereas others explore strict subsets, often by using so-called scenarios. The authors identify several types of state space explored by protocol analysis tools, and relate them to each other. They find previously unreported differences between the various approaches.

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