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Evaluation of digital identity using Windows CardSpace

Fernandez Sepulveda, Antonio


Antonio Fernandez Sepulveda


The Internet was initially created for academic purposes, and due to its success, it has been extended to commercial environments such as e-commerce, banking, and email. As a result, Internet crime has also increased. This can take many forms, such as: personal data theft; impersonation of identity; and network intrusions. Systems of authentication such as username and password are often insecure and difficult to handle when the user has access to a multitude of services, as they have to remember many different authentications. Also, other more secure systems, such as security certificates and biometrics can be difficult to use for many users. This is further compounded by the fact that the user does not often have control over their personal information, as these are stored on external systems (such as on a service provider's site).

The aim of this thesis is to present a review and a prototype of Federated Identity Management system, which puts the control of the user's identity information to the user. In this system the user has the control over their identity information and can decide if they want to provide specific information to external systems. As well, the user can manage their identity information easily with Information Cards. These Information Cards contain a number of claims that represent the user's personal information, and the user can use these for a number of different services. As well, the Federated Identity Management system, it introduces the concept of the Identity Provider, which can handle the user's identity information and which issues a token to the service provider. As well, the Identity Provider verifies that the user's credentials are valid.

The prototype has been developed using a number of different technologies such as .NET Framework 3.0, CardSpace, C#, ASP.NET, and so on. In order to obtain a clear result from this model of authentication, the work has created a website prototype that provides user authentication by means of Information Cards, and another, for evaluation purposes, using a username and password. This evaluation includes a timing test (which checks the time for the authentication process), a functionality test, and also quantitative and qualitative evaluation. For this, there are 13 different users and the results obtained show that the use of Information Cards seems to improve the user experience in the authentication process, and increase the security level against the use of username and password authentication.

This thesis concludes that the Federated Identity Management model provides a strong solution to the problem of user authentication, and could protect the privacy rights of the user and returns the control of the user's identity information to the user.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2011
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Internet crime; personal data theft; identity theft; network intrusion; system authentication; security certificates; biometrics; Federated identity management system; information cards; provider;
Public URL
Contract Date Jan 12, 2011
Award Date 2008-10


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