"Introduction to Identity-Based Encryption", Luther Martin, 2008,

978-1-59693-238-8, U$89.00

%A Luther Martin

%C 685 Canton St., Norwood, MA 02062

%D 2008

%G 978-1-59693-238-8 1-59693-238-4

%I Artech House/Horizon

%O U$89.00 617-769-9750 800-225-9977 artech@...

%O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1596932384/robsladesinterne

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1596932384/robsladesinte-21

%O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/1596932384/robsladesin03-20

%O Audience s- Tech 2 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)

%P 232 p.

%T "Introduction to Identity-Based Encryption"

The preface states that identity-based encryption (IBE) is equivalent,

in importance, to the invention of asymmetric encryption, but it

doesn't say why (nor, in fact, what identity-based encryption actually

is.)

Although chapter one is an introduction, the definition of IBE is on a

very abstract level. We are told that the intent of IBE is to allow

one party to create a public key for another, identifiable, entity,

and encrypt material for transmission to them, even though an

asymmetric key pair has not been established in advance. The receiver

could then generate a corresponding private key, and retrieve the

original information. Some mathematics (number theory) involved in

asymmetric encryption is presented in chapter two, but not explained.

The same level of non-exegesis is used, in chapter three, regarding

elliptic curves, and in chapter four in relation to Tate pairing. All

we are told is that these pairings are used in many IBE schemes.

Chapter five turns to the mathematics of basic encryption schemes, and

ends by looking at the theoretical cracking of keys by quantum

computers, using, for example, Shor's algorithm. (Confidence in the

practicality of Martin's arithmetic is not helped by his provision of

a table of key cracking times that completely ignores the existence of

Moore's Law.) Some common (non-IBE) encryption algorithms are

described in chapter six, and Martin actually does a better job

explaining these.

Chapters seven to ten outline four IBE encryption schemes. The math

is all there (including analysis of the weaknesses, and potential

means of remediation), but the rather central point of the choice and

determination of identity values still has not been addressed. All of

these systems rely on generation of the private keys from a single

agent (which can, therefore, become a single point of failure), so

chapter eleven examines ways to support key generation with multiple

sources. Ways to improve the performance of the (computationally

intensive) operations of the IBE systems are examined in chapter

twelve.

The title is rather unfortunate, since Martin never does provide much

of an introduction. The content is intriguing, although the practical

applications of any IBE system turn on the question of the identity

data, which is left unaddressed. Martin's assertion of the importance

of IBE is therefore not demonstrated in this work.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKIDBENC.RVW 20080514

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