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Building Secure Systems using Mobile Agents
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Computer and Systems Sciences, DSV.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The progress in the field of computer networks and Internet is increasing with tremendous volume in recent years. This raises important issue with regards to security. Several solutions emerged in the past which provide security at host or network level. These traditional solutions like antivirus, firewall, spy-ware, and authentication mechanisms provide security to some extends, but they still face the challenge of inherent system flaws, OS bugs and social engineering attacks. Recently, some interesting solution emerged like Intrusion Detection and Prevention systems, but these too have some problems, like detecting and responding in real time, because they mostly require inputs from system administrator. Optimistically, we have succeeded in protecting the hosts to some extent by applying the reactive approach, such as antivirus, firewall and intrusion detection and response systems, But, if we critically analyze this approach, we will reach the conclusion that it has inherent flaws, since the number of penetrations, Internet crime cases, identity and financial data thefts, etc. are rising exponentially in recent years. The main reason is that we are using only reactive approach, i.e. protection system is activated only when some security breach occurs. Secondly, current techniques try to fix the overall huge problem of security using only small remedies (firewall, antivirus and intrusion detection and preventions system) – “point solutions”. Therefore, there is a need to develop a strategy using Mobile Agents in order to operate in reactive and proactive manners, what requires providing security on the principle of defense in depth. So, that ultimate goal of securing a system as a whole can be achieved. System is assumed to be secure if unauthorized access (penetrations) is not possible and system is safe against damages. This strategy will include three aspects: (a) autonomously detect vulnerabilities on different hosts (in a distributed network) before an attacker can exploit (b) protect hosts by detecting attempts of intrusions and responding to them in real time; and finally (c) perform tasks related to security management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 62 p.
Report series / DSV, ISSN 1101-8526
Keyword [en]
Mobile Agents, Intrusion Detection, Intrusion Response, Security Management
National Category
Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4622OAI: diva2:13113
2006-08-16, 401, Forum, kista IT Campus(KTH), KISTA, 14:00
Available from: 2006-01-29 Created: 2006-01-29

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