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Title : A Survey of Authentication Mechanisms
Author(s) : E. Rescorla
Filename : draft-rescorla-auth-mech-00.txt
Date : 24-Jun-02
Authentication is perhaps the most basic security problem for design-
ers of network protocols. Even the early Internet protocols such as
TELNET and FTP, which provided no other security services, made pro-
vision for user authentication. Unfortunately, these early authenti-
cation systems were wholly inadequate for the Internet Threat Model
[REF] and a vast array of other authentication mechanisms have been
introduced in an attempt to close these holes.
The most striking thing about these security mechanisms is how many
of them are essentially similar. There are only 7 basic classes of
authentication protocol but there are a large number of slightly dif-
ferent protocols with essentially the same security properties. This
memo surveys the space of authentication mechanisms, describes the
basic classes and provides examples of protocols which fit into each
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