A Formal Semantics for SPKI

Jon Howell, Dartmouth College
David Kotz, Dartmouth College

Department of Computer Science Technical Report TR 2000-363


We extend the logic and semantics of authorization due to Abadi, Lampson, et al. to support restricted delegation. Our formal model provides a simple interpretation for the variety of constructs in the Simple Public Key Infrastructure (SPKI), and lends intuition about possible extensions. We discuss both extensions that our semantics supports and extensions that it cautions against.