Trust Me If You Can: Trusted Transformation Between (JSON) Schemas to Support Global Authentication of Education Credentials

Stefan More, Peter Grassberger, Felix Hörandner, Andreas Abraham, Lukas Daniel Klausner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Recruiters and institutions around the world struggle with the verification of diplomas issued in a diverse and global education setting. Firstly, it is a nontrivial problem to identify bogus institutions selling education credentials. While institutions are often accredited by qualified authorities on a regional level, there is no global authority fulfilling this task.Secondly, many different data schemas are used to encode education credentials, which represents a considerable challenge to automated processing. Consequently, significant manual effort is required to verify credentials. In this paper, we tackle these challenges by introducing a decentralized and open system to automatically verify the legitimacy of issuers and interpret credentials in unknown schemas. We do so by enabling participants to publish transformation information, which enables verifiers to transform credentials into their preferred schema. Due to the lack of a global root of trust, we utilize a distributed ledger to build a decentralized web of trust, which verifiers can query to gather information on the trustworthiness of issuing institutions and to establish trust in transformation information. Going beyond diploma fraud, our system can be generalized to tackle the generalized problem for other domains lacking a root of trust and agreements on data schemas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection - 36th IFIP TC 11 International Conference, SEC 2021, Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationIFIP SEC 2021
EditorsAudun Jøsang, Lynn Futcher, Janne Hagen
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783030781194
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2021
Event36th International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection: SEC 2021 - University of Oslo / online, Virtual, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 22 Jun 202124 Jun 2021
Conference number: 36

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238
ISSN (Electronic)1868-422X


Conference36th International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection
Abbreviated titleIFIP SEC 2021
CityVirtual, Oslo
Internet address


  • Blockchain
  • Distributed ledger
  • Education credentials
  • Self-sovereign identity
  • Trust management
  • Verification
  • Web of trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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