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Data & Computer Security: Dictionary of standards concepts by Dennis Longley

By Dennis Longley

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See AUTHENTICATION, AUTHENTICATION ALGORITHM. authentication exchange. In authentication, a mechanism intended to ensure the identity of an entity by means of information exchange. See ACCESS CONTROL, AUTHENTICATION, DYNAMIC PASSWORD. authentication key. In authentication, a cryptographic key designed to be known only to the correspondent parties. When this key and the text of the message are applied to the authentication algorithm the result will be the message authentication code. (ANSI). 9, AUTHENTICATION, AUTHENTICATION ALGORITHM, AUTHENTICATOR KEY, MESSAGE AUTHENTICATION CODE.

1) In computer security, the means used to identify or verify the eligibility of a station, originator or individual to access specific categories of information. (FIPS). See ACCESS CONTROL. (2) In authentication, a symbol, a sequence of symbols or a series of bits that are arranged in a predetermined manner and are usually inserted at a predetermined point within a message or transmission for the authentication of the message or transmission. The authenticator is often a function of the complete message, or at least the security sensitive parts of it, and a secret key.

Authentication consists of a digital signature, which is based on the contents of the message and the identity of the sender. Both the sender and receiver have exchanged a set of bilateral keys before transmission. The digital signature, known as the authenticator, will change if even a single bit is changed in the contents of the message. As such, when it is recalculated by the receiver and compared with the authenticator provided by the sender, the authenticity of the contents, as well as the authenticity of the sender, is guaranteed.

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