An ISO standard for IBE

Identity-based encryption (IBE) is a public-key encryption technology that uses a user’s identity as their public key. By doing this it eliminates the need for expensive digital certificates and makes many applications of encryption practical that would otherwise be too difficult and expensive to justify. IBE technology has come a long way since Adi Shamir first proposed the idea in 1984.

IBEISOSQThe first significant step along this path was the invention of the first practical and secure IBE by Dan Boneh and Matt Franklin in 2001, a step that was so important that it won Dan Boneh the 2005 RSA Award for contributions to the field of cryptography.

According to Google Scholar, the IBE paper by Boneh and Franklin, “Identity-Based Encryption from the Weil Pairing,” has been cited over 6,400 times, making it one of the most cited papers in the field.

The work of Boneh and Franklin built on the work of Antoine Joux, a fact that was recognized in 2013 when the three were jointly awarded the ACM’s Gödel Prize for the work that led to the invention of Boneh-Franklin IBE.

The invention of IBE was the result of a successful partnership between government and industry – the research that led to the invention of Boneh-Franklin IBE was jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Boneh) and DARPA (Franklin), while the commercialization of the technology was led by a team of Boneh’s students at Stanford.

Since the invention of practical and secure implementations of it by Boneh and Franklin and the commercialization of it by Boneh’s students, IBE has gone on to become a widely used encryption technology. IBE is the backbone of HPE SecureMail, and there are now over 80 million users of HPE SecureMail alone, firmly establishing it as a successful and widely used encryption product.

Along the way, IBE has been standardized by the IETF in RFC 5091 (“Identity-Based Cryptography Standard (IBCS) #1: Supersingular Curve Implementations of the BF and BB1 Cryptosystems”), RFC 5408 (“Identity-Based Encryption Architecture and Supporting Data Structures”) and RFC 5409 (“Using the Boneh-Franklin and Boneh-Boyen Identity-Based Encryption Algorithms with the Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)”) and by the IEEE in IEEE Std 1363.3-2013 (“Standard for Identity-Based Cryptographic Techniques using Pairings”).

On December 1, 2015, IBE technology became standardized by ISO (“ISO/IEC 18033-5:2015 – Information technology — Security techniques — Encryption algorithms — Part 5: Identity-based ciphers”), recognizing that the technology is now important to secure communications worldwide.

Albert Biketi, Vice President and General Manager of HPE Security – Data Security noted the significance of this event. “The publication of the ISO standard for IBE is a significant milestone in the history of this important technology,” said Biketi. “In addition to being a very popular technology for encrypting email, IBE is now used by many of the top payment processors securing billions of transactions. With the recognition of this technology as an ISO standard, we look forward to working with credit card processors worldwide to let them realize the benefits that this important technology can bring them.”

Learn more about our HPE SEcureMail solution with HPE IBE, available for desktop, cloud, and mobile that is scalable to millions of users, while keeping Personally Identifiable Information and Personal Health information secure and private.

— Luther Martin, HPE Security – Data Security Distinguished Technologist.

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