News Column

Patent Issued for Mutual Authentication and Key Exchange for Inter-Application Communication

June 17, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent by the inventors Atwood, Scott Roy (Campbell, CA); McDonough, Colin Albright (Mountain View, CA), filed on November 13, 2013, was published online on June 3, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8745390 is assigned to Google Inc. (Mountain View, CA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Merchants and application developers create service applications that allow users to initiate service requests. Depending on the type of service that a service application provides, the service application may need to communicate with other service applications to complete a service request. Also, secure communication between service applications is important for communication of sensitive data, such as payment information or personal identification information.

"Currently, some user computing device operating environments are constrained in that service applications operating in the foreground of the operating environment may not communicate directly with service applications operating in the background. To communicate in this operating environment, a first service application launches a second service application into the foreground using a uniform resource locator (URL), and the service applications communicate information indirectly via a short-term data storage, such as a pasteboard, to which the service applications have mutual access. Though the second service application is provided with the identity of the first service application when it is launched via URL, the current method is limited in that the first service application does not have certainty that the receiving service application is the intended second service application, as it is possible for two or more service applications on a user computing device to have a common URL."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In certain example aspects described herein, a method for cryptographic key exchange and mutual authentication between two service applications comprises transmitting, by a requesting application, a session key request comprising request parameters to an application authentication system. The application authentication system generates a random nonce, generates a current timestamp, and calculates a session key based at least in part on the request parameters, the current timestamp, and the random nonce. The application authentication system transmits the session key and session key parameters to the requesting application. The requesting application creates a pasteboard. The requesting application generates a random challenge and calculates the output of a session key function with the random challenge as input, posting the session key function result on the pasteboard. The requesting application launches an invited application and transmits the session key parameters and the pasteboard name to an invited application. The invited application requests authentication credentials from a user. The user initiates an authentication session with the application authentication system by providing authentication credentials to the invited application.

"The invited application transmits a session key request comprising request parameters and the session key parameters to the application authentication system. The application authentication system verifies that the user is in a valid authentication session, calculates a second session key based at least in part on the request parameters and the session key parameters, and transmits the second session key to the invited application. The invited application accesses the pasteboard and determines the random challenge using the posted session key function result from the pasteboard and the session key function. The invited application calculates an expected value based on the second session key and the random challenge and posts the expected value on the pasteboard. The requesting application confirms the expected value using the session key function.

"In certain other example aspects described herein, a system and a computer program product for cryptographic key exchange and mutual authentication between two service applications are provided.

"These and other aspects, objects, features, and advantages of the example embodiments will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of illustrated example embodiments."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Atwood, Scott Roy; McDonough, Colin Albright. Mutual Authentication and Key Exchange for Inter-Application Communication. U.S. Patent Number 8745390, filed November 13, 2013, and published online on June 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8745390.PN.&OS=PN/8745390RS=PN/8745390

Keywords for this news article include: Google Inc., Information Technology, Information and Cryptography.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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