Integrating the privacy-by-design system IRMA in CryptPad

IRMA (I Reveal My Attributes) is a system to protect your privacy. It does this by only revealing so called 'attributes' of a person. Can CryptPad be improved by integrating IRMA by comparing approaches for authentication and digital signatures?

Required interest(s)

  • Cryptography
  • Security
  • Open Source

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  • A challenging assignment within a practical environment
  • € 1000 compensation, € 500 + lease car or € 600 + living space
  • Professional guidance
  • Courses aimed at your graduation period
  • Support from our academic Research center at your disposal
  • Two vacation days per month

What you will do

  • 65% Research

When you want to prove that you are older than 18 to buy a bottle of whiskey it shouldn’t be necessary to show your ID card which also contains your name, BSN and date of birth. Only the fact that you are 18+ should be sufficient. IRMA can achieve this by securely disclose certain attributes about you using your mobile phone running the IRMA app (https://irma.app) It protects your privacy by only show attributes that are sufficient in this situation, namely the attributing stating that you are older than 18. Therefore, your name and date of birth cannot be abused by a third party to commit for example identity fraud. This attribute-based authentication only reveals what you are and not who you are.

IRMA also offers attribute-based signatures which improve on the traditional digital signature done with a private key and a corresponding certificate containing the public key. These IRMA signatures are constructed by enclosing a number of attributes of the signer to the document. For example, signing a medical recipe using the docter’s medical attribute stating that the recipe comes from a real doctor. This is a big advantage over traditional signatures because it gives information about who actually signs it. IRMA is open source and available to integrate with other services for which authentication and signatures are important.

Such a service can be CryptPad (https://cryptpad.fr) with which you can make collaborative documents. It uses client side encryption to make sure it’s protected from other people that can access the server. Other people can read your documents by sharing your cryptographic key that is never sent to the server. Moreover, your username and password are used only to generate a unique keyring and the server only knows your signature to identify you and retrieve your documents. This Zero Knowledge application makes a good candidate to research whether integrating it with the IRMA system has further potential benefits.

You will research whether CryptPad can be improved by integrating IRMA by comparing approaches for authentication and digital signatures. Perhaps the attribute-based signatures can add value to prove the origin of the documents you write with CryptPad? What about the different authentication flows of both systems? This research includes setting up IRMA, integrate it with CryptPad, analyze approaches and motivate your choices to potentially improve CryptPad.

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