Vigil: Providing Trust for Enhanced Security in Pervasive Systems

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Computing today is moving away from the desktop, becoming diffused into our surroundings and onto our personal digital devices. Moreover, ad-hoc networks such as Bluetooth provide for spontaneous connectivity between computationally enabled devices within proximity to each other. In such pervasive computing environments, users expect to access resources and services at any time from anywhere. This expectation results in serious security issues since devices are constantly interacting with others outside of their "home" environments. We describe the security challenges in pervasive computing, explaining why traditional security mechanisms fail to meet the demands of these environments. We use an agent-oriented paradigm to model the interactions between computationally enabled entities in such dynamic environments and present an infrastructure that combines existing authentication features like Simple Public Key Infrastructure (SPKI) with notions of policy-driven interaction and distributed trust, in order to provide a highly flexible approach for enforcing security policies in pervasive computing environments. We present an implementation of the system on a variety of handheld/laptop devices using Bluetooth/802.11, and include an ontology to describe principals, credentials and policies.

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agent, pervasive computing, policy, security


University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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