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Golem publishes a device test concept for identity authentication

June 5, 2020

The decentralized CPU distribution network, Golem published his research on a device test mechanism (PoD) for user authenticationon 5th June. While it’s still a proof of concept, The study describes a method by which users can automatically validate their hardware and anonymously but reliably prove their identity.

Necessity is the mother of the invention

The investigation stems from Golem’s need to secure its own anonymous, license-free network against Sybil’s attacks.. He wondered if anything could be implemented with the Intel Software Guard Extensions or SGX, instructions built into modern CPUs.

As a suitable concept, Golem realized that its applications went far beyond the security of decentralized networks and indeed This can be useful for any online service needed to authenticate users.

Complementary authentication technology

Golem publishes a device test concept for identity authenticationGolem publishes a device test concept for identity authentication

The PoD mechanism complements existing methods such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and the second universal factor (U2F). The SGX enclave takes on the burden of storing the keys for signing and proving identity.

The enclave must be assigned to the user in advance. This means that the user can only access a PoD-protected service with pre-assigned devices. Even the user does not know the private key stored in the enclave, which must be associated with the public key stored by the service being accessed.

PoD proves that the user has physical access to a particular device and provides security even if a username and password have been stolen.

The proof of concept has been demonstrated in an improved bank access service.

As Cointelegraph reported, Golem recently supported Folding @ Home’s efforts in coronavirus research.