We model chaining in terms of a simple, convergent, rewrite system over a signature with two disjoint sorts:
By interpreting a particular symbol of this signature suitably, the rewrite system can model several practical situations of interest. An inference procedure is presented for deciding the unification problem modulo this rewrite system. The procedure is modular in the following sense: any given problem is handled by a system of ‘list-inferences’, and the set of equations thus derived between the element-terms of the problem is then handed over to any (‘black-box’) procedure which is complete for solving these element-equations. An example of application of this unification procedure is given, as attack detection on a Needham-Schroeder like protocol employing the CBC encryption mode.