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Anchor Toolkit - a secure mobile agent system

Description: Mobile agent technology facilitates intelligent operation insoftware systems with less human interaction. Major challenge todeployment of mobile agents include secure transmission of agents andpreventing unauthorized access to resources between interacting systems,as either hosts, or agents, or both can act maliciously. The Anchortoolkit, designed by LBNL, handles the transmission and secure managementof mobile agents in a heterogeneous distributed computing environment. Itprovides users with the option of incorporating their security managers.This paper concentrates on the architecture, features, access control anddeployment of Anchor toolkit. Application of this toolkit in a securedistributed CVS environment is discussed as a case study.
Date: May 19, 1999
Creator: Mudumbai, Srilekha S.; Johnston, William & Essiari, Abdelilah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Extensions to Jinni Mobile Agent Architecture

Description: We extend the Jinni mobile agent architecture with a multicast network transport layer, an agent-to-agent delegation mechanism and a reflection based Prolog-to-Java interface. To ensure that our agent infrastructure runs efficiently, independently of router-level multicast support, we describe a blackboard based algorithm for locating a randomly roaming agent. As part of the agent-to-agent delegation mechanism, we describe an alternative to code-fetching mechanism for stronger mobility of mobile agents with less network overhead. In the context of direct and reflection based extension mechanisms for Jinni, we describe the design and the implementation of a reflection based Prolog-to-Java interface. The presence of subtyping and method overloading makes finding the most specific method corresponding to a Prolog call pattern fairly difficult. We describe a run-time algorithm which provides accurate handling of overloaded methods beyond Java's reflection package's limitations.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Tyagi, Satyam
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Annotated Bibliography of Mobile Agents in Networks

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to present a comprehensive colligation of applications of mobile agents in networks, and provide a baseline association of these systems. This work has been motivated by the fact that mobile agent systems have been deemed proficuous alternatives in system applications. Several mobile agent systems have been developed to provide scalable and cogent solutions in network-centric applications. This thesis examines some existing mobile agent systems in core networking areas, in particular, those of network and resource management, routing, and the provision of fault tolerance and security. The inherent features of these systems are discussed with respect to their specific functionalities. The applicability and efficacy of mobile agents are further considered in the specific areas mentioned above. Although an initial foray into a collation of this nature, the goal of this annotated bibliography is to provide a generic referential view of mobile agent systems in network applications.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Sriraman, Sandhya
Partner: UNT Libraries

DADS - A Distributed Agent Delivery System

Description: Mobile agents require an appropriate platform that can facilitate their migration and execution. In particular, the design and implementation of such a system must balance several factors that will ensure that its constituent agents are executed without problems. Besides the basic requirements of migration and execution, an agent system must also provide mechanisms to ensure the security and survivability of an agent when it migrates between hosts. In addition, the system should be simple enough to facilitate its widespread use across large scale networks (i.e Internet). To address these issues, this thesis discusses the design and implementation of the Distributed Agent Delivery System (DADS). The DADS provides a de-coupled design that separates agent acceptance from agent execution. Using functional modules, the DADS provides services ranging from language execution and security to fault-tolerance and compression. Modules allow the administrator(s) of hosts to declare, at run-time, the services that they want to provide. Since each administrative domain is different, the DADS provides a platform that can be adapted to exchange heterogeneous blends of agents across large scale networks.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Cozzolino, Clifford Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries

Performance Evaluation of Data Integrity Mechanisms for Mobile Agents

Description: With the growing popularity of e-commerce applications that use software agents, the protection of mobile agent data has become imperative. To that end, the performance of four methods that protect the data integrity of mobile agents is evaluated. The methods investigated include existing approaches known as the Partial Result Authentication Codes, Hash Chaining, and Set Authentication Code methods, and a technique of our own design, called the Modified Set Authentication Code method, which addresses the limitations of the Set Authentication Code method. The experiments were run using the DADS agent system (developed at the Network Research Laboratory at UNT), for which a Data Integrity Module was designed. The experimental results show that our Modified Set Authentication Code technique performed comparably to the Set Authentication Code method.
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Date: December 2003
Creator: Gunupudi, Vandana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mobile agent security through multi-agent cryptographic protocols.

Description: An increasingly promising and widespread topic of research in distributed computing is the mobile agent paradigm: code travelling and performing computations on remote hosts in an autonomous manner. One of the biggest challenges faced by this new paradigm is security. The issue of protecting sensitive code and data carried by a mobile agent against tampering from a malicious host is particularly hard but important. Based on secure multi-party computation, a recent research direction shows the feasibility of a software-only solution to this problem, which had been deemed impossible by some researchers previously. The best result prior to this dissertation is a single-agent protocol which requires the participation of a trusted third party. Our research employs multi-agent protocols to eliminate the trusted third party, resulting in a protocol with minimum trust assumptions. This dissertation presents one of the first formal definitions of secure mobile agent computation, in which the privacy and integrity of the agent code and data as well as the data provided by the host are all protected. We present secure protocols for mobile agent computation against static, semi-honest or malicious adversaries without relying on any third party or trusting any specific participant in the system. The security of our protocols is formally proven through standard proof technique and according to our formal definition of security. Our second result is a more practical agent protocol with strong security against most real-world host attacks. The security features are carefully analyzed, and the practicality is demonstrated through implementation and experimental study on a real-world mobile agent platform. All these protocols rely heavily on well-established cryptographic primitives, such as encrypted circuits, threshold decryption, and oblivious transfer. Our study of these tools yields new contributions to the general field of cryptography. Particularly, we correct a well-known construction of the encrypted circuit and give ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Xu, Ke
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Security Model for Mobile Agents using X.509 Proxy Certificates

Description: Mobile agent technology presents an attractive alternative to the client-server paradigm for several network and real-time applications. However, for most applications, the lack of a viable agent security model has limited the adoption of the agent paradigm. This thesis presents a security model for mobile agents based on a security infrastructure for Computational Grids, and specifically, on X.509 Proxy Certificates. Proxy Certificates serve as credentials for Grid applications, and their primary purpose is temporary delegation of authority. Exploiting the similarity between Grid applications and mobile agent applications, this thesis motivates the use of Proxy Certificates as credentials for mobile agents. A new extension for Proxy Certificates is proposed in order to make them suited to mobile agent applications, and mechanisms are presented for agent-to-host authentication, restriction of agent privileges, and secure delegation of authority during spawning of new agents. Finally, the implementation of the proposed security mechanisms as modules within a multi-lingual and modular agent infrastructure, the Distributed Agent Delivery System, is discussed.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Raghunathan, Subhashini
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tactical Deployment and Management of Autonomous Agents, LDRD Final Report

Description: This is the final report for FY07 for this ongoing LDRD. The project involves deriving a behavioral framework, algorithms, and science underlying a complex-adaptive network of cooperating sensors that secures the computational infrastructure of a multi-enterprise cooperative organization.
Date: November 16, 2007
Creator: Fink, Glenn A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Intelligent Mobile Agents in Network Management and Routing

Description: In this research, the application of intelligent mobile agents to the management of distributed network environments is investigated. Intelligent mobile agents are programs which can move about network systems in a deterministic manner in carrying their execution state. These agents can be considered an application of distributed artificial intelligence where the (usually small) agent code is moved to the data and executed locally. The mobile agent paradigm offers potential advantages over many conventional mechanisms which move (often large) data to the code, thereby wasting available network bandwidth. The performance of agents in network routing and knowledge acquisition has been investigated and simulated. A working mobile agent system has also been designed and implemented in JDK 1.2.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Balamuru, Vinay Gopal
Partner: UNT Libraries

DualTrust: A Trust Management Model for Swarm-Based Autonomic Computing Systems

Description: Trust management techniques must be adapted to the unique needs of the application architectures and problem domains to which they are applied. For autonomic computing systems that utilize mobile agents and ant colony algorithms for their sensor layer, certain characteristics of the mobile agent ant swarm -- their lightweight, ephemeral nature and indirect communication -- make this adaptation especially challenging. This thesis looks at the trust issues and opportunities in swarm-based autonomic computing systems and finds that by monitoring the trustworthiness of the autonomic managers rather than the swarming sensors, the trust management problem becomes much more scalable and still serves to protect the swarm. After analyzing the applicability of trust management research as it has been applied to architectures with similar characteristics, this thesis specifies the required characteristics for trust management mechanisms used to monitor the trustworthiness of entities in a swarm-based autonomic computing system and describes a trust model that meets these requirements.
Date: May 1, 2010
Creator: Maiden, Wendy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department