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    Secure Communication in Disasters

    HCI2012 - People & Computers XXVI

    Proceedings of HCI 2012
    The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction

    Birmingham, UK, 12 - 14 September 2012


    Bangdao Chen, Ivan Fléchais, Sadie Creese, Michael Goldsmith & A.W. Roscoe


    This paper reports on the challenge of designing an application for bootstrapping secure communications in ad-hoc situations. The starting point of this work was based on prior work in “spontaneous security”: making use of Human-Interactive Security Protocols (HISPs) which exploit a human-based unspoofable channel to bootstrap secure comunications. Our approach was to develop a realistic scenario in which spontaneous and secure communications are necessary, and to use this to drive the development of the application.We settled on exploring how to provide secure communications in disasters: situations where existing communication and security infrastructures may be unavailable. Using the disaster scenario to guide development, we implemented a mobile application which allows users to create ad-hoc WiFi networks and bootstrap secure communications over these networks.


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