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Replacement of components in public key infrastructures

: Maseberg, S.; Hartmann, M.


IEEE Industrial Electronics Society:
IECON 2001, 27th annual conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. Vol.3 : Hyatt Regency Tech Center, Denver, Colorado, USA, Nov 29 (Thu) to Dec 2 (Sun) 2001
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2001
ISBN: 0-7803-7108-9
ISBN: 0-7803-7109-7
IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON Annual Conference) <27, 2001, Denver/Colo.>
Fraunhofer SIT ()

Public key infrastructures play an important role in secure electronic communication via the internet. Governments, companies and customers use this technology to a high degree and trust in the provided security, but public key infrastructures have risks. On the one hand it is not proven that the mathematical problems on the hardness of which public key cryptography depends are really hard to solve. On the other hand failures in implementations are not out of the question. Since most of the modern public key infrastructures support only one signature algorithm, breaking it would hurt authenticity and integrity of, as well as confidence in, transmitted data and therefore effect the breakdown of the entire infrastructure. Such a breakdown would imply costly consequences for business and society. In this article we present a public key infrastructure which can, in case of the breaking of an algorithm, be repaired with a new cryptosystem, and thus conserve its functionality.