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Knowledge flow analysis offers a simple and flexible way to find flaws in security protocols. A protocol is described by a collection of rules constraining the propagation of knowledge amongst principals. Because this characterization corresponds closely to informal descriptions of protocols, it allows a succinct and natural formalization; because it abstracts away message ordering, and handles communications between principals and applications of cryptographic primitives uniformly, it is readily represented in a standard logic. A generic framework in the Alloy modeling language is presented, and instantiated for two standard protocols, and a new key management scheme.
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