Key Event Receipt Infrastructure (KERI) [article]

Samuel M. Smith
2021 arXiv   pre-print
An identity system based secure overlay for the Internet is presented. This includes a primary root-of-trust in self-certifying identifiers. It presents a formalism for Autonomic Identifiers (AIDs) and Autonomic Namespaces (ANs). They are part of an Autonomic Identity System (AIS). This system uses the design principle of minimally sufficient means to provide a candidate trust spanning layer for the internet. Associated with this system is a decentralized key management infrastructure (DKMI).
more » ... e primary root-of-trust are self-certifying identifiers that are strongly bound at issuance to a cryptographic signing (public, private) key-pair. These are self-contained until/unless control needs to be transferred to a new key-pair. In that event an append only chained key-event log of signed transfer statements provides end verifiable control provenance. This makes intervening operational infrastructure replaceable because the event logs may be therefore be served up by ambient infrastructure. End verifiable logs on ambient infrastructure enables ambient verifiability (verifiable by anyone, anywhere, at anytime). The primary key management operation is key rotation (transference) via a novel key pre-rotation scheme. Two primary trust modalities motivated the design, these are a direct (one-to-one) mode and an indirect (one-to-any) mode. In the direct mode, the identity controller establishes control via verified signatures of the controlling key-pair. The indirect mode extends that trust basis with witnessed key event receipt logs (KERLs) for validating events. The security and accountability guarantees of indirect mode are provided by KERIs Agreement Algorithm for Control Establishment (KACE) among a set of witnesses.
arXiv:1907.02143v15 fatcat:tiwosgty6fe4rl3z46of3z5pji