Date of Original Version
Abstract or Table of Contents
Users regularly experience a crisis of confidence on the Internet. Is that email truly originating from the claimed individual? Is that Facebook invitation indeed from that person or is it a fake page set up by an impersonator? These doubts are usually resolved through a leap of faith, expressing the desperation of users.
To establish a secure basis for Internet communication, we propose SafeSlinger, a system leveraging the proliferation of smartphones to enable people to securely and privately exchange their public keys. Through the exchanged authentic public key, SafeSlinger establishes a secure channel offering secrecy and authenticity, which we use to support secure messaging and file exchange. Essentially, we support an abstraction to safely “sling” information from one device to another.1 SafeSlinger also provides an API for importing applications’ public keys into a user’s contact information. By slinging entire contact entries to others, we support secure introductions, as the contact entry includes the SafeSlinger public keys as well as other public keys that were important. As a result, SafeSlinger provides an easy-to-use and understand approach for trust establishment among people.