Covered Trust Values in Distributed Systems

  • Birgit Borcherding
  • Malte Borcherding
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT)


During the last years it has become recognized that trust is an essential component in the design of protocols in distributed systems. If, for example, a Key Distribution Center (KDC) is employed to distribute public keys, the receiver of such a key has to trust the KDC that the key is authentic. Sometimes, a trusted entity may recommend another entity as being trustworthy, which in turn can recommend further entities. Obviously, the longer such a trust path grows, the smaller the trust towards the final entity will be. On the other hand, the higher the number of trustworthy recommendations about an entity, the more trustworthy this entity will become. These observations have led to the introduction of trust values.

When deriving the value of a trust path from the trust values of the individual entities in a distributed manner, one faces the problem that the estimation of each other’s trustworthiness is a private matter. Up to now, this problem has been circumvented by either ignoring it or by not allowing for the derivation of a trust path’s value. In this paper, we propose a technique for the derivation of the value of a trust path without exposing the individual trust values to other entities.


Distributed systems trust values authentication delegation 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birgit Borcherding
    • 1
  • Malte Borcherding
    • 2
  1. 1.European Institute for System SecurityUniversity of KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Computer Design and Fault ToleranceUniversity of KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

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