While there are plenty of PAKE protocols, especially those augmented ones which are practical in C/S model, actually they seem to be not widely used. Even TLS-Standardized SRP, the most popular one among them, I just know it's used in apple's iCloud. In addition, J-PAKE was used in Mozilla's synchronization but aborted for its weird usage.

So, Is there any situation or famous system in which PAKEs are widely used that I don't know? If no, why are they not used even when their patents are expired?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Closely related: Why is SRP not widely used?; my answer. $\endgroup$ – fgrieu Sep 19 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ Note that why questions like this cannot be objectively answered, unless somebody performs some significant statistics (and where would they get significant input data)? So some subjectivity is to be expected at the very minimum. $\endgroup$ – Maarten Bodewes Sep 19 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ FYI, there is ongoing discussion at the IRTF CFRG as we type to choose a symmetric PAKE and an asymmetric PAKE for adoption in IETF protocols. $\endgroup$ – Squeamish Ossifrage Sep 19 at 15:42

I see three main reasons why PAKEs are not widely used yet:

  • The lack of IETF standards. SRP has limitations discussed in the link @fgrieu posted above. Many PAKE protocols have been designed, but they lack a convincing security proof, or properties some applications may expect. This is being solved as we speak. The CFRG is currently having a selection process, existing PAKEs are being carefully reviewed, and the outcome will be a small set of recommendations for each use case.
  • The lack of implementations. Possibly due to the above.
  • The lack of awareness. Most people have never heard of PAKEs.
  • $\begingroup$ That last point is probably a huge contributor. We're still trying to convince people to not use MD5, let alone to use some PAKE. $\endgroup$ – Ella Rose Sep 19 at 14:56

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