Secure Store : A Secure Distributed Storage Service

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Lakshmanan, Subramanian
Ahamad, Mustaque
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As computers become pervasive in environments that include the home and community, new applications are emerging that will create and manipulate sensitive and private information. These applications span systems ranging from personal to mobile and hand held devices. They would benefit from a data storage service that protects the integrity and confidentiality of the stored data and is highly available. Such a data repository would have to meet the needs of a variety of applications, handling data with varying security and performance requirements. Providing simultaneously both high levels of security and high levels of performance may not be possible when many nodes in the system are under attack. The agility approach to building secure distributed services advocates the principle that the overhead of providing strong security guarantees should be incurred only by those applications that require such high levels of security and only at times when it is necessary to defend against high threat levels. A storage service that is designed for a variety of applications must follow the principles of agility, offering applications a range of options to choose from for their security and performance requirements. This research presents secure store, a secure and highly available distributed store to meet the performance and security needs of a variety of applications. Secure store is designed to guarantee integrity, confidentiality and availability of stored data even in the face of limited number of compromised servers. Secure store is designed based on the principles of agility. Secure store integrates two well known techniques, namely replication and secret-sharing, and exploits the tradeoffs that exist between security and performance to offer applications a range of options to choose from to suit their needs. This thesis makes several contributions, including (1) illustration of the the principles of agility, (2) a novel gossip-style secure dissemination protocol whose performance is comparable to the best-possible benign-case protocol in the absence of any malicious activity, (3) demonstration of the performance benefits of using weaker consistency models for data access, and (4) a technique called collective endorsement that can be used in other secure distributed applications.
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