 Open Access
 Total Downloads : 343
 Authors : Anu James, Dharani. J
 Paper ID : IJERTV4IS030580
 Volume & Issue : Volume 04, Issue 03 (March 2015)
 DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.17577/IJERTV4IS030580
 Published (First Online): 23032015
 ISSN (Online) : 22780181
 Publisher Name : IJERT
 License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Generation of ECC based D igital Certificates X.509 v3: an OpenSSL Code Revisited
Anu James
M.Tech student Department of Information Technology
SRM University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 603203
Dharani. J
Asst. Lecturer
Department of Information Technology SRM University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 603203
Abstract The number of people using internet infrastructure for transactions has increased considerably. E commerce, online banking which need confidentiality and secure lines has stretched its root to internet. So its necessary to maintain the confidence of users. Many mechanisms are available to provide confidentiality, integrity, authenticity of data. This paper deals with the authenticity issues of information. One best mechanism to ensure the authenticity is the usage of digital signatures and certificates. The digital certificates in this paper are generated with the help of Elliptic Curves (EC) which provides security using less key length compared to all other algorithms that are available now.
KeywordsElliptic curve cryptography(ECC), Digital Certificates, X.509

INTRODUCTION
People using the internet services has increased dramatically. As the services in internet are used worldwide by everyone, security issues related to it has also popped out. Many algorithms and security devices are available which maintains the confidence of people in using these facilities. The presented digital signatures and certificates, are based on the RSA algorithm. The X.509 certificates are concerned with verifying the identity of a person or an entity.
Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is an advanced cryptographic technique. It can be integrated in all places where RSA or DiffieHellman algorithms can be assimilated, but instead of using integers to be ciphered, it uses points in a mathematical object called elliptic curve. The real potential of ECC is that, with a much smaller key length, it achieves the same security level as other algorithms. Therefore, ECC boons some key attributes which are prime important in scenarios where, the processing power, storage space, bandwidth and power consumption are limited [1] [2].
In this paper we develop a free opensource Certification Authority (CA) for ECC X.509v3 digital certificates. The CA we put forward is able to generate its own root certificate and to issue clients certificates. We also develop the software a client requires to create a certificate request which the CA should sign after some verification steps. The tool we propose is mainly oriented to environments with limited resources. As it will be shown in next sections, its advantages are clearly noticeable.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In section II, we provide an overview about Elliptic Curve Cryptography, and the ECC mechanisms, the X.509 standard, PKI which we
use for the new X.509v3 ECC digital certificates. In section III, we describe the design and working. Security analysis and discussion is done in section IV. The research paper ends with conclusion in section V.

LITERATURE SURVEY

Public Key Cryptography
Cryptography which is the process of converting the intelligible plaintext into unintelligible ciphertext, and vice versa using mathematical algorithms and processes. Certain applications of cryptography include – data encryption for confidentiality, digital signatures to provide nonrepudiation and data integrity, certificates for authenticating people, applications and services, and for access control (authorization).
Two categories of cryptography exists: shared secret and public key. Shared secret cryptography is in which the sender and receiver use the same key for both encryption and decryption. For this key distribution need to be done which is not a secure option. Public key cryptography, in contrast, uses a pairs of key: a public key and a private key. Public key is widely available whereas private key is known only to the person/ application. Therefore key distribution complexity is reduced to a greater level. The private key of sender is used to produce a digital signature, an encrypted block of data which, when decrypted by the recipient, verifies the senders identity (nonrepudiation) as well as the integrity of the data.

Digital Certificates
The digital certificates is a mechanism that helps in providing authentication and security to information on open networks. The applications that are using this mechanism are secure email, digital signing of software files, secure web communications, smart card authentication, and encrypting file systems. Certificates are a key building block for providing security services within an IT infrastructure, usually referred to as a public key infrastructure (PKI). The basic components of a digital certificate include:

The name of the user/entity being certified.

User/entity public key.

Certification authority name.

A digital signature.
A welldefined name need to be given for the user/entity being identified, as it provides a binding link between it and the public key.


X.509 Standard
The International Telecommunication Union X.509 specification [3] delivers a set of standards for the implementation of a public key infrastructure and among them, one is being used for the structure of a digital public key certificate. The X.509 certificate standard has evolved many years ago. Version 1 was introduced in 1988 and assumed that by using the issuer distinguished name of a certificate, it would be possible to build a certificate chain going back to the root certificate. Version 2 which was introduced in 1993 presented the concept of unique identifiers to allow for the reuse of issuer distinguished names. The Version 3 was introduced in 1996 and allows anyone to define an extension and include it within their certificate. Version 1 certificates are generally used as root or selfsigned certificates, version 2 certificates that have been outdated by version 3 certificates are now used for most applications. Version 4 type certificates are also known as Extended Validation (EV).

Relation of public keys and certificates
PKI provides strong security. But a user can be given with forged public key, allowing the perpetrator to decrypt the messages and not the intended recipient. Thus, public keys need to be validated and the digital certificates does it. A certificate is a digital document which binds a public key to a person/application. A trusted Certificate Authority (CA) creates the certificate and digitally signs it using the CAs private key. Because of its role in generating certificates, the CA is the central component of the PKI. Using the CAs public key, applications/person verify the issuing CAs digital signature, and hence, the integrity of the contents of the certificate.

PKI Components and Functions
There are three components to a PKI:

The Certificate Authority (CA), an entity which issues certificates. A trusted third party such as VeriSign or GTE, can provide the CA function.

The repository for certificates and Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs)

A management function which is typically implemented via a management console.
In addition, there may be a separate Registration Authority (RA), an entity dedicated to user registration and accepting requests for certificates. The user registration is the process of collecting user information and verifying the credentials, which is then used to register a user acording to a policy. This is distinct from the process of creating, signing, and issuing a certificate.


PKI Functions
The basic functions of PKI functions are issuing certificates, revoking certificates, creating and publishing CRLs, storing and retrieving certificates and CRLs, and key lifecycle management.

Issuing certificates – The CA signs the certificate, thereby authenticating the identity of the requestor. The CA stamps the certificate with an expiration date.

Revoking certificates – A certificate may become invalid before the normal expiration of its validity period due to changing the names, or by compromising the private key. Under these circumstances, the CA revokes the certificate by including the certificates serial number on the next scheduled CRL.

Storing and retrieving certificates and CRLs – The most common means of storing and retrieving certificates and CRLs is via a directory service, with access via LDAP. Other options include X.500 compatible directories, HTTP, FTP, and email.

Providing trust – Each public key user must have at least one public key from a CA that the user trusts implicitly. Organizations can establish and maintain trust within a single security management domain through a thorough audit of the CAs policies and procedures, repeated at regular intervals.


PKCS
PKCS is a series of standards casing PKI in areas of certificate enrollment and renewal, and CRL distribution. For PKI interoperability, the three most important PKCS standards are the following:

PKCS #7 – Cryptographic Message Syntax Standard.

PKCS #10 also called Certificate Request Syntax Standard.

PKCS #12 which is Personal Information Exchange Syntax Standard.


Elliptic Curve Cryptography
The Elliptic Curve Cryptosystems (ECC) operates over points on an elliptic curve. The fundamental mathematical operation in RSA and DieHellman is modular integer exponentiation. However, the core of elliptic curve arithmetic is an operation called scalar point multiplication, which computes Q = kP (a point P multiplied k times resulting in another point Q on the curve). Scalar multiplication is performed through a combination of pointadditions (which add two distinct points together) and pointdoublings (which add two copies of a point together). Elliptic Curve Die Hellman (ECDH) [4] and Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) [5] are the Elliptic Curve counterparts of the DieHellman key exchange and Digital Signature Algorithm, respectively. In ECDH key agreement, two communicating parties A and B agree to use the same curve parameters. They generate their private keys, kA and kB and corresponding public keys QA = kA.G and QB = kB.G. The parties exchange their public keys. Finally each multiplies its
private key and the others public key to arrive at a common shared secret kA.QB = kB.QA = kA.KB.G.

Algorithms Present in ECC

Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA)
The private key will be dA and the public key QA such that QA=dAP.
Senders side
Signature generation procedure

Select a random k from [1, n1]

Compute kP=(x1, y1) and r=x1mod n. if r=0 goto step 1

Compute e=H (m), where H is a hash function, m is the message.

Compute s=k1(e+dAr) mod n. If s=0 go to step 1.
(r, s) is Alices signature of message m. Message along with (r,s) is sent to the receiver.
Receivers side
Signature verification is done as follows

Verify that r, s are in the interval [1, n1]

Compute e=H (m), where H is a hash functon, m is the message.

Compute w=s1mod n 4.Compute u1= ew mod n and u2= rw mod n.

Compute X=u1P+u2QA=(x1, y1)

Compute v=x1mod n

Accept the signature if and only if v=r.


Elliptic Curve DiffieHellman (ECDH)
The key generation is as follows:
Senders side

Select a private key nA [1, n1].

Calculate public key QA=nAP.
Receivers side

Select a private key nB [1, n1]

Calculate public key QB= nBP.
Exchange QA and QB each other. Then the key is computed as K= nAQB at senders side and K= nBQA at receivers side.


DESIGN AND WORKING
The entire design consists of mainly 3 parts writing OpenSSL code for creating the ECC based certificates, importing the certificate to the thunderbird and establishing a trust for the created certificate, digitally signing and encryption of the emails sent. The algorithms that are present in ECC like ECDH, ECDSA are used in designing the system. First we have to create a certification authority (CA). Then certificates need to be generated signed by this CA. For this a code need to written which retrieves the users information and verify it. After verification, the CA signs and issue the certificate to the defined entity/person. The certificate generated will be of cert.pfx format. The purpose for which the certificate is generated need to be identified prior to its creation. The questions that pops out when one
tries to create the certificate is given below. This is based on
X.509 standard. Fig.1. describes the fields that need to be filled during the creation.
The created certificate need to be imported to the Mozilla thunderbird and once its imported and accepted by the trust, it will be like as the fig.2 given below. List of trust is shown in fig.3. Once the certificate and trust get installed properly, the user can use it for sending email from thunderbird digitally signed. The recipient of the mail will be able to get the public key of sender and with this he/she can send the encrypted email with the support of S/MIME. Figure 4 shows the symbol that we get when we send the mail digitally signed by our certificate. The thing in red circle shows the digitally signed mark. This is just a proof of concept which we have illustrated in Mozilla Thunderbird. This certificate can be integrated with many applications which require the security and can be imported to any web browsers.
Fig.1. X.509 format certificate fields
Fig.2. Imported Certificate Details
Fig.3. Trusted authorities
Fig.4. Digitally signed

SECURITY ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION Elliptic curve is a curve that is a group. ECC utilizes this
group for its functioning. Its strength is in the problem solving which involves elliptic curves; Elliptic Curve Discrete Logarithmic Problem (ECDLP). ECDLP states that given P and Q, where Q = kP, it is difficult to nd k. While using a bruteforce approach, its possible to compute all multiples of P until Q is found. But finding k in such a way is infeasible. Besides the curve equation, there is an important elliptic curve parameter called the base point, G, which will be xed for each curve. In the ECC, random integer k is kept private which forms the secret key. Corresponding public key is Q, which is got by multiplying the k with G. Not every
elliptic curve oers strong security properties. A poor choice of the curve can compromise security, so the standards organizations like NIST and SECG have published a set of recommended curves [6] with well understood security properties. The use of these curves is also recommended as a means of facilitating interoperability between dierent implementations of a security protocol.

CONCLUSION
The above method suggests the use of ECC based digital certificates for those clients and servers who recommend more security. As discussed, ECC provide security with less key size compared to any other algorithms present now and hence can be easily integrated in scenarios where, the resources like processing power, storage space, power consumption and bandwidh are limited. ECC is a boon technology for the mobile devices. We believe this drift promises well for the future of Elliptic Curve Cryptography and not just for digital certificates. We have implemented ECC based certificates in OpenSSL and hence webservers and browsers can now use this variant to communicate securely.
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