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signer, verify, countersigner - set-top box authentication



auth/verify set-top-box-id



Signer and countersigner listen for requests on the service ports infsigner and infcsigner, respectively. They are typically run via svc(8) on a machine acting as authentication server for a network. Verify is invoked on the same server, after signer but before countersigner, following an independent check of a caller's credentials.

Signer constructs an authentication certificate from the signer's key (in /keydb/signerkey) and information from the requesting client, including the set top box ID. The signer's key can be created using createsignerkey(8), but if the key does not yet exist, signer creates and initialises /keydb/signerkey itself, with an owner name of *.

Signer `blinds' the certificate by XOR-ing it with a random bit mask, then sends the result to the requesting client. The client machine's user uses that information to establish identity with a human agent on the signing machine. Signer also saves the both the `blinded' and `unblinded' result from the input in /keydb/signed/set-top-box-id for verify (see below).

Verify is run on the signing server by the agency running the authentication server, in response to a call from a remote user who has invoked register(8) or an equivalent. Verify checks a caller's identity using information from the file /keydb/signed/set-top-box-id created by signer. The file contains the previously crafted authentication certificate and the `blinded' version of the certificate that was sent to the requesting client.

Verify displays the `blinded' version textually or graphically, as appropriate, so that it can be compared to that reported by the set-top-box owner over a secure independent mechanism (for example, telephone). If the operator of verify is convinced of the identity of the caller, the operator should accept when prompted by verify. Verify then writes the authentication certificate to /keydb/countersigned/set-top-box-id, as input for countersigner (see signer(8)).

Note: if the operator of verify accepts the identity, the set-top-box owner should be requested to answer `yes' to the prompt displayed by register(8). The order of acceptance-first on the signer, then on the client-is essential, to produce the countersigned certificate before invoking countersigner to read it.

Countersigner sends the blinding data in /keydb/countersigned/set-top-box-id to the requesting client.


Secret key of the `signer' host.
Repository of `blinded' and clear certificates.
Repository of `unblinded' certificates.




createsignerkey(8), register(8), svc(8)

SIGNER(8 ) Rev:  Thu Feb 15 14:43:55 GMT 2007