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(Abstract of diploma thesis) With the amazingly growing connectivity induced by the internet, the need also rises for an authentication mechanism being general enough to handle the resulting heterogenity and size. Here, cryptographic public-key technology plays a major role. Prominent approaches of practical use for building and verifying trust in networks applying cryptographic keys are PGP and S/MIME. Unfortunately these do have essential weaknesses such that they do not cover all relevant aspects, or at most they do in conjunction. Moreover, the available software solutions and the associated models do not support a cooperation and the user is left with choosing out of a non-optimal set of possibilities.
To cure this defect, we present an integrating design for the management of cryptographic keys which allows a user to manage keys with one software, independent of the actual model context. Besides these and other management tasks resulting from a key’s life cycle, the design emphasizes the integration of modules which support local authenticity decisions employing a policy and public-key infrastructure.
Preceding the design, an analysis of two techniques for determining authenticity of cryptographic keys will be given, being the base for deriving the use-case requirements a system for managing keys must satisfy. The design chapter describes the architecture of the system in terms of modules and their cooperation on processing the use cases. the description is supported by the modelling language UML.