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Authentication (from ''authentikos'', "real, genuine", from αὐθέντης ''authentes'', "author") is the act of proving an assertion, such as the identity of a computer system user. In contrast with identification, the act of indicating a person or thing's identity, authentication is the process of verifying that identity. It might involve validating personal
identity document An identity document (also called ID or colloquially as papers) is any documentation, document that may be used to prove a person's identity. If issued in a small, standard credit card size form, it is usually called an identity card (IC, ID c ...
s, verifying the authenticity of a
website A website (also written as a web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Examples of notable websites are Google Search, Google, Facebook, Amaz ...
with a digital certificate, determining the age of an artifact by
carbon dating Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was ...
, or ensuring that a product or document is not
counterfeit To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value tha ...
.


Methods

Authentication is relevant to multiple fields. In
art Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wha ...
,
antique An antique ( la, antiquus; 'old', 'ancient') is an item perceived as having value because of its aesthetic or historical significance, and often defined as at least 100 years old (or some other limit), although the term is often used loosely ...
s, and
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because i ...
, a common problem is verifying that a given artifact was produced by a certain person or in a certain place or period of history. In
computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of computation, information theory, and automation) to Applied science, practical discipli ...
, verifying a user's identity is often required to allow access to confidential data or systems. Authentication can be considered to be of three types: The first type of authentication is accepting proof of identity given by a credible person who has first-hand evidence that the identity is genuine. When authentication is required of art or physical objects, this proof could be a friend, family member, or colleague attesting to the item's provenance, perhaps by having witnessed the item in its creator's possession. With autographed sports memorabilia, this could involve someone attesting that they witnessed the object being signed. A vendor selling branded items implies authenticity, while they may not have evidence that every step in the supply chain was authenticated. Centralized authority-based trust relationships back most secure internet communication through known public certificate authorities; decentralized peer-based trust, also known as a
web of trust In cryptography, a web of trust is a concept used in Pretty Good Privacy, PGP, GNU Privacy Guard, GnuPG, and other OpenPGP-compatible systems to establish the Authentication, authenticity of the binding between a public key and its owner. Its d ...
, is used for personal services such as email or files (
Pretty Good Privacy Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is an encryption software, encryption program that provides cryptographic privacy and authentication for data communication. PGP is used for digital signature, signing, encrypting, and decrypting texts, Email, e-mails, ...
, GNU Privacy Guard) and trust is established by known individuals signing each other's
cryptographic key A key in cryptography is a piece of information, usually a string of numbers or letters that are stored in a file, which, when processed through a cryptographic algorithm, can Encryption, encode or Encryption, decode cryptographic data. Based on th ...
at Key signing parties, for instance. The second type of authentication is comparing the attributes of the object itself to what is known about objects of that origin. For example, an art expert might look for similarities in the style of painting, check the location and form of a signature, or compare the object to an old photograph. An
archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, architecture, biofact (archaeology), biofacts ...
, on the other hand, might use
carbon dating Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was ...
to verify the age of an artifact, do a chemical and spectroscopic analysis of the materials used, or compare the style of construction or decoration to other artifacts of similar origin. The physics of sound and light, and comparison with a known physical environment, can be used to examine the authenticity of audio recordings, photographs, or videos. Documents can be verified as being created on ink or paper readily available at the time of the item's implied creation. Attribute comparison may be vulnerable to forgery. In general, it relies on the facts that creating a forgery indistinguishable from a genuine artifact requires expert knowledge, that mistakes are easily made, and that the amount of effort required to do so is considerably greater than the amount of profit that can be gained from the forgery. In art and antiques, certificates are of great importance for authenticating an object of interest and value. Certificates can, however, also be forged, and the authentication of these poses a problem. For instance, the son of Han van Meegeren, the well-known art-forger, forged the work of his father and provided a certificate for its provenance as well; see the article Jacques van Meegeren. Criminal and civil penalties for
fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compe ...
,
forgery Forgery is a white-collar crime that generally refers to the false making or material alteration of a legal instrument with the specific mens rea, intent to wikt:defraud#English, defraud anyone (other than themself). Tampering with a certain ...
, and
counterfeit To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value tha ...
ing can reduce the incentive for falsification, depending on the risk of getting caught.
Currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, Wikt:currens, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" is a standardization of money in any form, in use or currency in circulation, circulation as a medium of exchange, for example ba ...
and other
financial Finance is the study and discipline of money, currency and capital assets. It is related to, but not synonymous with economics, the study of Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics) ...
instruments commonly use this second type of authentication method. Bills, coins, and
cheque A cheque, or check (American English American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. English is the Langua ...
s incorporate hard-to-duplicate physical features, such as fine printing or engraving, distinctive feel, watermarks, and holographic imagery, which are easy for trained receivers to verify. The third type of authentication relies on documentation or other external affirmations. In criminal courts, the rules of evidence often require establishing the chain of custody of evidence presented. This can be accomplished through a written evidence log, or by testimony from the police detectives and forensics staff that handled it. Some antiques are accompanied by certificates attesting to their authenticity. Signed sports memorabilia is usually accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. These external records have their own problems of forgery and
perjury Perjury (also known as foreswearing) is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or falsifying an Affirmation in law, affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding."Perjury ...
and are also vulnerable to being separated from the artifact and lost. In computer science, a user can be given ''access'' to secure systems based on user credentials that imply authenticity. A network administrator can give a user a password, or provide the user with a key card or other access devices to allow system access. In this case, authenticity is implied but not guaranteed. Consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals, perfume, fashion clothing can use all three forms of authentication to prevent counterfeit goods from taking advantage of a popular brand's reputation (damaging the brand owner's sales and reputation). As mentioned above, having an item for sale in a reputable store implicitly attests to it being genuine, the first type of authentication. The second type of authentication might involve comparing the quality and craftsmanship of an item, such as an expensive handbag, to genuine articles. The third type of authentication could be the presence of a
trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign (semiotics), sign, design, or expression (language), expression that identifies Good (economics and accounting), product ...
on the item, which is a legally protected marking, or any other identifying feature which aids consumers in the identification of genuine brand-name goods. With software, companies have taken great steps to protect from counterfeiters, including adding holograms, security rings, security threads and color shifting ink.


Authentication factors

The ways in which someone may be authenticated fall into three categories, based on what is known as the factors of authentication: something the user ''knows'', something the user ''has'', and something the user ''is''. Each authentication factor covers a range of elements used to authenticate or verify a person's identity before being granted access, approving a transaction request, signing a document or other work product, granting authority to others, and establishing a chain of authority. Security research has determined that for a positive authentication, elements from at least two, and preferably all three, factors should be verified. The three factors (classes) and some of the elements of each factor are: * the knowledge factors: Something the user knows (e.g., a
password A password, sometimes called a passcode (for example in Apple Inc., Apple devices), is secret data, typically a string of characters, usually used to confirm a user's identity. Traditionally, passwords were expected to be memorized, but the lar ...
, partial password, passphrase,
personal identification number A personal identification number (PIN), or sometimes redundantly a PIN number or PIN code, is a numeric (sometimes alpha-numeric) passcode used in the process of authenticating a user accessing a system. The PIN has been the key to facilitat ...
(PIN), challenge–response (the user must answer a question or pattern), security question). * the ownership factors: Something the user has (e.g., wrist band, ID card, security token, implanted device,
cell phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, hand phone or pocket phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell, or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive telephone call, calls over a radio freq ...
with a built-in hardware token, software token, or
cell phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, hand phone or pocket phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell, or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive telephone call, calls over a radio freq ...
holding a software token). * the inherence factors: Something the user is or does (e.g.,
fingerprint A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. The recovery of partial fingerprints from a crime scene is an important method of forensic science. Moisture and grease on a finger result in fingerprints on surfac ...
,
retina The retina (from la, rete "net") is the innermost, light-sensitive layer of tissue of the eye of most vertebrates and some molluscs Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda, the members of whi ...
l pattern, DNA sequence (there are assorted definitions of what is sufficient),
signature A signature (; from la, signare, "to sign") is a Handwriting, handwritten (and often Stylization, stylized) depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" or other mark that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and ...
, face, voice, unique bio-electric signals, or other biometric identifiers).


Single-factor authentication

As the weakest level of authentication, only a single component from one of the three categories of factors is used to authenticate an individual's identity. The use of only one factor does not offer much protection from misuse or malicious intrusion. This type of authentication is not recommended for financial or personally relevant transactions that warrant a higher level of security.


Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication involves two or more authentication factors (''something you know'', ''something you have'', or ''something you are''). Two-factor authentication is a special case of multi-factor authentication involving exactly two factors. For example, using a bank card (something the user has) along with a PIN (something the user knows) provides two-factor authentication. Business networks may require users to provide a password (knowledge factor) and a pseudorandom number from a security token (ownership factor). Access to a very-high-security system might require a mantrap screening of height, weight, facial, and fingerprint checks (several inherence factor elements) plus a PIN and a day code (knowledge factor elements), but this is still a two-factor authentication.


Authentication types

The most frequent types of authentication available in use for authenticating online users differ in the level of security provided by combining factors from one or more of the three categories of factors for authentication:


Strong authentication

The U.S.
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
's National Information Assurance Glossary defines '' strong authentication'' as a layered authentication approach relying on two or more authenticators to establish the identity of an originator or receiver of information. The European Central Bank (ECB) has defined ''strong authentication'' as "a procedure based on two or more of the three authentication factors". The factors that are used must be mutually independent and at least one factor must be "non-reusable and non-replicable", except in the case of an inherence factor and must also be incapable of being stolen off the Internet. In the European, as well as in the US-American understanding, strong authentication is very similar to multi-factor authentication or 2FA, but exceeding those with more rigorous requirements. The Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance has been striving to establish technical specifications for strong authentication.


Continuous authentication

Conventional computer systems authenticate users only at the initial log-in session, which can be the cause of a critical security flaw. To resolve this problem, systems need continuous user authentication methods that continuously monitor and authenticate users based on some biometric trait(s). A study used behavioural biometrics based on writing styles as a continuous authentication method.Brocardo ML, Traore I, Woungang I, Obaidat MS.
Authorship verification using deep belief network systems
". Int J Commun Syst. 2017.
Recent research has shown the possibility of using smartphones sensors and accessories to extract some behavioral attributes such as touch dynamics, keystroke dynamics and gait recognition. These attributes are known as behavioral biometrics and could be used to verify or identify users implicitly and continuously on smartphones. The authentication systems that have been built based on these behavioral biometric traits are known as active or continuous authentication systems.


Digital authentication

The term ''digital authentication'', also known as ''electronic authentication'' or ''e-authentication'', refers to a group of processes where the confidence for user identities is established and presented via electronic methods to an information system. The digital authentication process creates technical challenges because of the need to authenticate individuals or entities remotely over a network. The American
National Institute of Standards and Technology The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce whose mission is to promote American innovation and industrial competitiveness. NIST's activities are organized into Outline of p ...
(NIST) has created a generic model for digital authentication that describes the processes that are used to accomplish secure authentication: # ''Enrollment'' – an individual applies to a credential service provider (CSP) to initiate the enrollment process. After successfully proving the applicant's identity, the CSP allows the applicant to become a subscriber. # ''Authentication'' – After becoming a subscriber, the user receives an authenticator e.g., a token and credentials, such as a user name. He or she is then permitted to perform online transactions within an authenticated session with a relying party, where they must provide proof that he or she possesses one or more authenticators. # ''Life-cycle maintenance'' – the CSP is charged with the task of maintaining the user's credential over the course of its lifetime, while the subscriber is responsible for maintaining his or her authenticator(s). The authentication of information can pose special problems with electronic communication, such as vulnerability to
man-in-the-middle attack In cryptography and computer security, a man-in-the-middle, monster-in-the-middle, machine-in-the-middle, monkey-in-the-middle, meddler-in-the-middle, manipulator-in-the-middle (MITM), person-in-the-middle (PITM) or adversary-in-the-middle (AiTM) ...
s, whereby a third party taps into the communication stream, and poses as each of the two other communicating parties, in order to intercept information from each. Extra identity factors can be required to authenticate each party's identity.


Product authentication

Counterfeit To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value tha ...
products are often offered to consumers as being authentic.
Counterfeit consumer goods Counterfeit consumer goods (or counterfeit and fraudulent, suspect items - CFSI) are goods, often of inferior quality, made or sold under another's brand name without the brand owner's authorization. Sellers of such goods may infringe on eith ...
, such as electronics, music, apparel, and
counterfeit medications A counterfeit medication or a counterfeit drug is a medication or pharmaceutical item which is produced and sold with the intent to deceptively represent its origin, authenticity, or effectiveness. A counterfeit drug may contain inappropriate qua ...
, have been sold as being legitimate. Efforts to control the
supply chain In commerce, a supply chain is a network of facilities that procure raw materials, transform them into intermediate goods and then final products to customers through a distribution system. It refers to the network of organizations, people, activ ...
and educate consumers help ensure that authentic products are sold and used. Even
security printing Security printing is the field of the printing industry that deals with the printing of items such as banknotes, cheques, passports, tamper-evident labels, security tapes, product authentication, stock certificates, postage stamps and identity ca ...
on packages,
label A label (as distinct from signage) is a piece of paper, plastic film, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a Packaging and labelling, container or Product (business), product, on which is written or printing, printed information or symb ...
s, and
nameplate A nameplate identifies and displays a person or product's name. Nameplates are usually shaped as rectangles but are also seen in other shapes, sometimes taking on the shape of someone's written name. Nameplates primarily serve an informat ...
s, however, is subject to counterfeiting. In their anti-counterfeiting technology guide, the EUIPO Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights categorizes the main anti-counterfeiting technologies on the market currently into five main categories: electronic, marking, chemical and physical, mechanical, and technologies for digital media. Products or their packaging can include a variable
QR Code A QR code (an initialism for quick response code) is a type of Barcode#Matrix (2D) barcodes, matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) invented in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso#Denso Wave, Denso Wave. A barcode is a machine-readable optic ...
. A QR Code alone is easy to verify but offers a weak level of authentication as it offers no protection against counterfeits unless scan data is analyzed at the system level to detect anomalies. To increase the security level, the QR Code can be combined with a digital watermark or copy detection pattern that are robust to copy attempts and can be authenticated with a smartphone. A secure key storage device can be used for authentication in consumer electronics, network authentication, license management, supply chain management, etc. Generally, the device to be authenticated needs some sort of wireless or wired digital connection to either a host system or a network. Nonetheless, the component being authenticated need not be electronic in nature as an authentication chip can be mechanically attached and read through a connector to the host e.g. an authenticated ink tank for use with a printer. For products and services that these secure coprocessors can be applied to, they can offer a solution that can be much more difficult to counterfeit than most other options while at the same time being more easily verified.


Packaging

Packaging and labeling can be engineered to help reduce the risks of
counterfeit consumer goods Counterfeit consumer goods (or counterfeit and fraudulent, suspect items - CFSI) are goods, often of inferior quality, made or sold under another's brand name without the brand owner's authorization. Sellers of such goods may infringe on eith ...
or the theft and resale of products. Some package constructions are more difficult to copy and some have pilfer indicating seals.
Counterfeit To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value tha ...
goods, unauthorized sales (diversion), material substitution and tampering can all be reduced with these anti-counterfeiting technologies. Packages may include authentication seals and use
security printing Security printing is the field of the printing industry that deals with the printing of items such as banknotes, cheques, passports, tamper-evident labels, security tapes, product authentication, stock certificates, postage stamps and identity ca ...
to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit; these too are subject to counterfeiting. Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dye-packs,
RFID Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically Automatic identification system, identify and Tracking system, track tags attached to objects. An RFID system consists of a tiny radio transponder, a radio receiver ...
tags, or electronic article surveillance tags that can be activated or detected by devices at exit points and require specialized tools to deactivate. Anti-counterfeiting technologies that can be used with packaging include: * Taggant fingerprinting – uniquely coded microscopic materials that are verified from a database * Encrypted micro-particles – unpredictably placed markings (numbers, layers and colors) not visible to the human eye *
Hologram Holography is a technique that enables a wavefront to be recorded and later re-constructed. Holography is best known as a method of generating real three-dimensional images, but it also has a wide range of other Holography#Applications, applic ...
s – graphics printed on seals, patches, foils or labels and used at the point of sale for visual verification * Micro-printing – second-line authentication often used on currencies * Serialized
barcode A barcode or bar code is a method of representing data in a visual, Machine-readable data, machine-readable form. Initially, barcodes represented data by varying the widths, spacings and sizes of parallel lines. These barcodes, now commonly refe ...
s * UV printing – marks only visible under UV light * Track and trace systems – use codes to link products to the database tracking system * Water indicators – become visible when contacted with water * DNA tracking – genes embedded onto labels that can be traced * Color-shifting ink or film – visible marks that switch colors or texture when tilted * Tamper evident seals and tapes – destructible or graphically verifiable at point of sale * 2d barcodes – data codes that can be tracked *
RFID Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically Automatic identification system, identify and Tracking system, track tags attached to objects. An RFID system consists of a tiny radio transponder, a radio receiver ...
chips * NFC chips


Information content

Literary forgery can involve imitating the style of a famous author. If an original
manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten – as opposed to mechanically printing, printed or repr ...
, typewritten text, or recording is available, then the medium itself (or its packaging – anything from a box to e-mail headers) can help prove or disprove the authenticity of the document. However, text, audio, and video can be copied into new media, possibly leaving only the informational content itself to use in authentication. Various systems have been invented to allow authors to provide a means for readers to reliably authenticate that a given message originated from or was relayed by them. These involve authentication factors like: * A difficult-to-reproduce physical artifact, such as a seal,
signature A signature (; from la, signare, "to sign") is a Handwriting, handwritten (and often Stylization, stylized) depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" or other mark that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and ...
,
watermark A watermark is an identifying image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light (or when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background), caused by thickness or density variations ...
, special
stationery Stationery refers to commercially manufactured writing materials, including cut paper, envelopes, writing implements, continuous stationery, continuous form paper, and other office supplies. Stationery includes materials to be written on by han ...
, or
fingerprint A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. The recovery of partial fingerprints from a crime scene is an important method of forensic science. Moisture and grease on a finger result in fingerprints on surfac ...
. * A shared secret, such as a passphrase, in the content of the message. * An electronic signature; public-key infrastructure is often used to cryptographically guarantee that a message has been signed by the holder of a particular private key. The opposite problem is the detection of
plagiarism Plagiarism is the fraudulent representation of another person's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one's own original work.From the 1995 '' Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary'': use or close imitation of the language and though ...
, where information from a different author is passed off as a person's own work. A common technique for proving plagiarism is the discovery of another copy of the same or very similar text, which has different attribution. In some cases, excessively high quality or a style mismatch may raise suspicion of plagiarism.


Literacy and literature authentication

In literacy, authentication is a readers’ process of questioning the veracity of an aspect of literature and then verifying those questions via research. The fundamental question for authentication of literature is – Does one believe it? Related to that, an authentication project is therefore a reading and writing activity in which students document the relevant research process (). It builds students' critical literacy. The documentation materials for literature go beyond narrative texts and likely include informational texts, primary sources, and multimedia. The process typically involves both internet and hands-on library research. When authenticating historical fiction in particular, readers consider the extent that the major historical events, as well as the culture portrayed (e.g., the language, clothing, food, gender roles), are believable for the period.


History and state-of-the-art

Historically,
fingerprint A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. The recovery of partial fingerprints from a crime scene is an important method of forensic science. Moisture and grease on a finger result in fingerprints on surfac ...
s have been used as the most authoritative method of authentication, but court cases in the US and elsewhere have raised fundamental doubts about fingerprint reliability. Outside of the legal system as well, fingerprints are easily spoofable, with
British Telecom BT Group plc ( trading as BT and formerly British Telecom) is a British multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered in London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of Engl ...
's top computer security official noting that "few" fingerprint readers have not already been tricked by one spoof or another. Hybrid or two-tiered authentication methods offer a compelling the solution, such as private keys encrypted by fingerprint inside of a USB device. In a computer data context, cryptographic methods have been developed (''see''
digital signature A digital signature is a mathematical scheme for verifying the authenticity of digital messages or documents. A valid digital signature, where the prerequisites are satisfied, gives a recipient very high confidence that the message was created b ...
and challenge–response authentication) which are currently not spoofable if and only if the originator's key has not been compromised. That the originator (or anyone other than an attacker) knows (or doesn't know) about a compromise is irrelevant. It is not known whether these cryptographically based authentication methods are provably secure, since unanticipated mathematical developments may make them vulnerable to attack in the future. If that were to occur, it may call into question much of the authentication in the past. In particular, a digitally signed
contract A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more Party (law), parties that creates, defines, and governs mutual rights and obligations between them. A contract typically involves the transfer of goods, Service (economics), ser ...
may be questioned when a new attack on the cryptography underlying the signature is discovered.


Authorization

The process of authorization is distinct from that of authentication. Whereas authentication is the process of verifying that "you are who you say you are", authorization is the process of verifying that "you are permitted to do what you are trying to do". While authorization often happens immediately after authentication (e.g., when logging into a computer system), this does not mean authorization presupposes authentication: an anonymous agent could be authorized to a limited action set.


Access control

One familiar use of authentication and authorization is access control. A computer system that is supposed to be used only by those authorized must attempt to detect and exclude the unauthorized. Access to it is therefore usually controlled by insisting on an authentication procedure to establish with some degree of confidence the identity of the user, granting privileges established for that identity.


See also

* Access Control Service * Atomic authorization * Authentication Open Service Interface Definition * Authenticity in art * Authorization * Basic access authentication * Biometrics * CAPTCHA * Chip Authentication Program * Closed-loop authentication * Diameter (protocol) * Extensible Authentication Protocol, EAP * Electronic authentication * Encrypted key exchange (EKE) * Fingerprint Verification Competition * Geolocation * Hash-based message authentication code * Identification (information) * Java Authentication and Authorization Service * Multi-factor authentication * OAuth – an open standard for authorization * OpenID Connect – an authentication method for the web * OpenID – an authentication method for the web * Public-key cryptography * RADIUS * Reliance authentication * Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP) * Secure Shell * Security printing * Self-sovereign identity * SQRL * Strong authentication * Tamper-evident technology * Time-based authentication * Two-factor authentication * Usability of web authentication systems * Woo–Lam


References


External links

*
" New NIST Publications Describe Standards for Identity Credentials and Authentication Systems"
{{Authority control Authentication, Applications of cryptography Access control Packaging Notary Computer access control