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Identity Verification Technique Offers Robust Solution to Hacking

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A woman uses an ATM.

The new method is an advance on a concept known as zero-knowledge proof, whereby one party (a prover) can demonstrate to another (the verifier) that they possess a certain piece of information without actually revealing that information.


Scientists at Canada's McGill University and Switzerland's University of Geneva have developed a secure identity verification technique based on the precept that information cannot exceed the speed of light.

"Our research found and implemented a secure mechanism to prove someone's identity that cannot be replicated by the verifier of this identity," said McGill's Claude Crépeau.

The technique expands the zero-knowledge proof through a system involving two physically separated prover-verifier pairs.

The two provers must demonstrate to the verifiers that they possess a shared knowledge of a method for using three colors to color in an image comprised of thousands of interconnected shapes, without coloring two adjacent shapes the same.

Geneva's Hugo Zbinden said, "It's like when the police interrogate two suspects at the same time in separate offices. It's a matter of checking their answers are consistent, without allowing them to communicate with each other."

From McGill University Newsroom (Canada)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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