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Secure Quality of Service Handling: SQoSH

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OSTP Journal Article

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Proposals for programmable network infrastructures, such as active networks and open signaling, provide programmers with access to network resources and data structures. The motivation for providing these interfaces is accelerated introduction of new services, but exposure of the interfaces introduces many new security risks. The risks can be reduced or eliminated via appropriate restrictions on the exported interfaces. In this article we describe some of the security issues raised by active networks. We then describe our secure active network environment architecture. SANE was designed as a security infrastructure for active networks, and was implemented in the Switch Ware architecture. SANE restricts the actions loaded modules including capsules can perform by restricting the resources that can be named this is further extended to remote invocation by means of cryptographic credentials. SANE can be extended to support restricted control of quality of service in a programmable network element. The Piglet lightweight device kernel provides a Virtual Clock type of scheduling discipline for network traffic, and exports several tuning knobs with which the clock can be adjusted. The ALIEN active loader provides safe access to these knobs to modules that operate on the network element. Thus, the proposed SQoSH architecture is able to provide safe, secure access to network resources, while allowing these resources to be managed by end users needing customized networking services. A desirable consequence of SQoSHs integration of access control and resource control is that a large class of denial-of-service attacks, unaddressed solely with access control and cryptographic protocols, can now be prevented.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

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