The British Ministry of Defence and US Navy had similar needs. They needed to protect the private communications between coalition soldiers, which if being intercepted by enemy forces, could endanger their lives.
They required a way to quickly bootstrap secure channels of communication between ad hoc battlefield teams. These ‘channels’ needed to be ready within minutes, using potentially compromised networks, and a variety of devices.
No small challenge, but with funding of $1.1M from the MOD and US Navy, a cyber-security team at the University of Oxford went to work finding solution.
The outcome? The team delivered a virtually unbreakable authentication protocol which fulfilled the difficult requirements.
This protocol, called HCBK (for Hash Commitment Before Knowledge), is now patented in both US and European markets, has been included in the world standard ISO 9798-6, and is currently being deployed commercially by OxCEPT to protect enterprise teams around the world.