We introduce the first known mechanism providing realtime server location verification. Its uses include enhancing server authentication by enabling browsers to automatically interpret server location information. We describe the design of this new measurement-based technique, Server Location Verification (SLV), and evaluate it using PlanetLab. We explain how SLV is compatible with the increasing trends of geographically distributed content dissemination over the Internet, without causing any new interoperability conflicts. Additionally, we introduce the notion of (verifiable) server location pinning (conceptually similar to certificate pinning) to support SLV, and evaluate their combined impact using a server-authentication evaluation framework. The results affirm the addition of new security benefits to the existing TLS-based authentication mechanisms. We implement SLV through a location verification service, the simplest version of which requires no server-side changes. We also implement a simple browser extension that interacts seamlessly with the verification infrastructure to obtain realtime server location-verification results.

Additional Metadata
Keywords internet measurements, location-based authentication, Server authentication, SSL/TLS
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1145/3139294
Journal ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security
Abdou, A. (Abdelrahman), & Van Oorschot, P. (2017). Server Location Verification (SLV) and server location pinning: Augmenting TLS authentication. ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security, 21(1). doi:10.1145/3139294