The Trusted Function in Secure Decentralized Processing
MITRE CORP BEDFORD MA
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The objective of this paper is to examine the concepts of computer security in the decentralized processing setting. One particularly weak point of present computer security systems, the trusted function, becomes quite difficult in this new setting. The notion of the trusted function is scrutinized and a technique for supporting it in a decentralized processing system is discussed. The information processors in a decentralized computing system must trust each other enough to be mutually supportive, yet these must also protect themselves to maintain autonomy. In a decentralized system, data security is especially important because the effects of compromise or sabotage can be so wide-ranging. The trusted function is an ad hoc solution to a problem with present data security models. This consistency problem, never previously addressed in a formal manner, is aggravated in the decentralized processing setting. This paper examines the consistency problem and proposes an addition to existing security models to address the problem. Using the model, the impact of the trusted function on secure, decentralized-processing system design is assessed. Additional keyword multiplexing.
- Computer Hardware