In an active field like that of cryptography, a problem that remains open for seventeen years must be a pretty tough problem. In a practically relevant field like that of cryptography, a solution that inspires hundreds of follow-up papers within a few years' time must be a pretty interesting solution.
Posed as an open problem in 1984, but efficiently instantiated only in 2001, identity-based encryption hasn't left the forefront of cryptographic research since. Praised by fans as the economical alternative to public-key infrastructures, booed by critics for its inherent key escrow — was that 1984 you said? — identity-based cryptography is also the topic of numerous debates in the cryptographic community.
This book looks beyond the controversy and intends to give an overview of the current state-of-the-art in identity-based cryptography. Since research on the topic is still actively continuing, this is necessarily a snapshot of a field in motion, rather than the final word about it. Still, we felt the main concepts have by now sufficiently matured to collect them in a single dedicated volume.
Each of the chapters in this volume is written by international experts on the topic. Our first word of thanks goes to the authors for their top-quality contributions to the book. Our special gratitude is due to Jean-Luc Beuchat, Jérémie Detrey, David Galindo, Kenny Paterson, and Nigel Smart who have looked over various portions of the book and have given comments and suggestions, and to Michel Abdalla for letting us use his extensive bibliographic library. We would also like to thank Juliette Joye for the beautiful illustration on the cover of this book. Finally, we would like to thank the people at IOS Press for the smooth interaction.
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