Robust secure authentication and data storage with perfect secrecy

Sebastian Baur, Holger Boche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We consider an authentication process that makes use of biometric data or the output of a physical unclonable function (PUF), respectively, from an information theoretical point of view. We analyse different definitions of achievability for the authentication model. For the secrecy of the key generated for authentication, these definitions differ in their requirements. In the first work on PUF based authentication, weak secrecy has been used and the corresponding capacity regions have been characterized. The disadvantages of weak secrecy are well known. The ultimate performance criteria for the key are perfect secrecy together with uniform distribution of the key. We derive the corresponding capacity region. We show that, for perfect secrecy and uniform distribution of the key, we can achieve the same rates as for weak secrecy together with a weaker requirement on the distribution of the key. In the classical works on PUF based authentication, it is assumed that the source statistics are known perfectly. This requirement is rarely met in applications. That is why the model is generalized to a compound model, taking into account source uncertainty. We also derive the capacity region for the compound model requiring perfect secrecy. Additionally, we consider results for secure storage using a biometric or PUF source that follow directly from the results for authentication. We also generalize known results for this problem by weakening the assumption concerning the distribution of the data that shall be stored. This allows us to combine source compression and secure storage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Authentication
  • Perfect secrecy
  • Privacy leakage
  • Secure storage


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