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Maintaining High Assurance in Asynchronous Messaging
Institute for Defense Analyses Alexandria United States
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Asynchronous messaging is the delivery of a message without waiting for the intended recipient to respond or acknowledge the message. This solution works for distributed systems communication, in which different systems may or may not be available at the same time. Asynchronous messaging solutions often use a message queue that holds messages to be picked up by the recipient. Although communication with the queue can be secured using lower layer protocols, such as Transport Layer Security TLS, this does not provide end-to-end security for the sender and receiver. The queuing system acts as a man-in-the-middle, negating authentication, integrity, and confidentiality guarantees. End-to-end security for asynchronous messaging must be provided by the asynchronous messaging layer itself. This paper discusses current asynchronous messaging models and proposes methods for providing end-to-end asynchronous messaging security in a high assurance environment.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE