The traust authorization Service

Adam J. Lee, Marianne Winslett, Jim Basney, Von Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, trust negotiation has been proposed as a novel authorization solution for use in open-system environments, in which resources are shared across organizational boundaries. Researchers have shown that trust negotiation is indeed a viable solution for these environments by developing a number of policy languages and strategies for trust negotiation that have desirable theoretical properties. Further, existing protocols, such as TLS, have been altered to interact with prototype trust negotiation systems, thereby illustrating the utility of trust negotiation. Unfortunately, modifying existing protocols is often a time-consuming and bureaucratic process that can hinder the adoption of this promising technology. In this paper, we present Traust, a third-party authorization service that leverages the strengths of existing prototype trust negotiation systems. Traust acts as an authorization broker that issues access tokens for resources in an open system after entities use trust negotiation to satisfy the appropriate resource access policies. The Traust architecture was designed to allow Traust to be integrated either directly with newer trust-aware applications or indirectly with existing legacy applications; this flexibility paves the way for the incremental adoption of trust negotiation technologies without requiring widespread software or protocol upgrades. We discuss the design and implementation of Traust, the communication protocol used by the Traust system, and its performance. We also discuss our experiences using Traust to broker access to legacy resources, our proposal for a Traust-aware version of the GridFTP protocol, and Traust's resilience to attack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalACM Transactions on Information and System Security
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008


  • Attribute-based access control
  • Credentials
  • Trust negotiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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