Digital suicide proposed as network defence

Digital suicide proposed as network defence
Digital suicide proposed as network defence

  This message is in MIME format.  The first part should be readable text,
  while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.

Content-Transfer-Encoding: QUOTED-PRINTABLE

By John E. Dunn
05 November 2007

A Cambridge University team has come up with a novel way for computing 
devices to defend themselves against attack or malfunction of neighbours 
=E2=80=93 let them commit digital suicide.

The idea has been dubbed 'suicide revocation' by one of its inventors, 
PhD student Tyler Moore, and has special application in the field of 
emerging technologies, for example, in wireless sensory networks where 
devices peer with one another without using a server for control.

In such a network, a device that was not operating correctly, or perhaps 
had had its security compromised in some way, could be shut down by a 
nearby device using a specially devised protocol, after its 
unreliability had been broadcast to other nodes.

But in a radical departure from today=E2=80=99s security models, this device 
would also have to shut itself down to demonstrate good faith and stymie 
possible manipulation of the process, in effect commit suicide.

According to Moore, such ad-hoc networks were rare today, but would 
become more common in future, possible the dominant form of network 
system. Examples were car-to-car networks through which vehicles could 
communicate traffic and other safety data to one another in a dynamic 

Similarly, the military were looking at networking devices for 
battlefield use, and such a system for excluding unreliable devices was 
essential in that environment. The concept could, in principle, be used 
for mainstream applications such as PCs, but this would require 
operation a network to be owned or controlled by only one company to 
avoid causing disputes.

=E2=80=9CNetworks in the future will become more peer-to-peer oriented. Services 
are being driven to the edge and you are going to see more 
responsibilities put on to clients,=E2=80=9D said Moore.

The software to make possible suicide revocation had been written, but 
so far only modelled in simulations to test its operation, he said.

The suicide idea sounds extreme, but the Cambridge researchers are 
reacting to the very different security problems presented by ad-hoc 
networks, which have yet to be thought through in enough detail to make 
them usable in the real world.

The full paper, New Strategies for Revocation in Ad-Hoc Networks, 
co-authored by Moore, Jolyon Clulow, Shishir Nagaraja, and esteemed 
security luminary Ross Anderson, can be read here [1].


Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

CSI 2007 is the only conference that delivers a business-focused
overview of enterprise security. It will convene 1,500+ delegates,
80 exhibitors and features 100+ sessions/seminars providing a
roadmap for integrating policies and procedures with new tools
and techniques.  Register now for savings on conference fees   
and/or free exhibits admission. - 


Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2014 CodeGods