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Security in Distributed Systems. Introduction and Design Issues Threats to security systems Security Mechanisms Design Issues: Focus of Data Control, Layering of security mechanisms and Simplicity Cryptography Basics of Cryptography

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security in distributed systems
Security in Distributed Systems
  • Introduction and Design Issues
    • Threats to security systems
    • Security Mechanisms
    • Design Issues: Focus of Data Control, Layering of security mechanisms and Simplicity
  • Cryptography
    • Basics of Cryptography
    • Types of encryption: Symmetric, Asymmetric and Hash Functions
  • Secure Channels
    • Using Symmetric Keys
    • Using Public/Private Keys
    • Signing/Digital Signatures
  • Secure Mobile Code
    • Sandboxing
slide2

Security in Distributed Systems

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”

  • John Allen Paulos
typical software stack
Typical Software Stack

Security

Application API

Middleware API

Network API

network

security threats
Security Threats

4 possible threats to security in computer systems:

  • Interception: unauthorized party has gained access to a service or data e.g. eavesdropping, illegal copying of data (or files)
    • also used to enforce ‘security’
  • Interruption: when a service or data becomes unavailable, unusable, destroyed etc. e.g. when a file is lost or corrupted, denial of service by malicious attacks
  • Modification: unauthorized changing the data or service.
    • interceptingand changing transmitted data
    • changing the behaviour of a service
    • altering database entries
  • Fabrication: generating data or activity that would not normally exist. For example, adding a password into a password file or database or falsifying a service.
security mechanisms
Security Mechanisms
  • Need a Security Policy
    • defined at the business level
  • Look at security mechanisms by which a policy can be enforced:
  • Encryption: transforms data (encrypts) into unintelligible data i.e. implements confidentiality, integrity
  • Authentication: verify the claimed identity of the user e.g. passwords, public/private-keys
  • Authorization: is user authorized to access the resource e.g. unix
  • Auditing: track which clients accessed what
design issues
Design Issues
  • Focus of Control
  • Layering of Security mechanisms
  • Simplicity
focus of data control
Focus of Data Control

Data is protected

against unauthorized

invocations

method

Data is protected by

checking the role of invoker

Methods

Methods

Methods

Data

Data

Data

Data

User

Data is protected against

wrong or invalid operations

layering of security mechanisms
Layering of Security Mechanisms

Machine A

Machine B

High-level

protocols

Application

Application

Middleware

Middleware

OS Services

OS Services

Low-level

protocols

Transport

Transport

OS Kernel

OS Kernel

Network

Network

Datalink

Datalink

Network

Hardware

Hardware

Physical

Physical

  • which level are the security mechanisms placed ? - communication or services (Middleware)
  • depends on the trust of the client
  • application requirements

Issues:

simplicity
Simplicity

The Good news …

  • The fewer security mechanisms the better !
  • need to be easily understood
  • and trusted to work
  • simplicity will contribute to the trust that end users will put into the application

The Bad news ..

  • Often applications are too complex and security just makes it worse!
  • Security is often classified as ‘cross-cutting’ in systems architecture, or vertical in a horizontal layered architecture.
  • How do you keep this cross-cutting simple?
cryptography
Cryptography
  • Basics of Cryptography
  • Types of Encryption
  • Symmetric Encryption
  • Asymmetric Encryption
  • Hash Functions
basics of cryptography

Defence from:

Active

Intruder,

Can change

message

Active

Intruder,

Can insert

message

Plaintext, P

Plaintext, P

Passive

Intruder,

only listens

Encryption

Method Ek(P)

Decryption

Method Dk(C)

Key

K

Key

K

Ciphertext, C

Ciphertext, C

Network

Basics of Cryptography

Sender

Receiver

Plaintext

types of encryption
Types Of Encryption
  • Text is converted to ciphertextby use of an algorithm and key
    • Algorithm is publicly known
    • Key is held private
  • Three Main Categories
    • Secret Key (symmetric cryptosystem)
      • single key is used to encrypt and decrypt information
    • Public/Private Key (asymmetric cryptosystem)
      • two keys are used: one for encryption and one for decryption
    • One-way Function (hash functions)
      • information is encrypted to produce a “digest” of the original information that can be used later to prove its authenticity
symmetric encryption
Symmetric Encryption

Sender and receiver have same secret key that will encrypt and decrypt plain text

  • Strength of encryption technique depends on key length
  • Some symmetrical algorithms
    • Data Encryption Standard (DES) - 56 bit key
    • Triple DES, DESX, GDES, RDES - 168 bit key
    • RC2, RC4, RC5 - variable length up to 2048 bits
    • IDEA - basis of PGP - 128 bit key
    • Blowfish - variable length up to 448 bits
data encryption standard des
Data Encryption Standard (DES)
  • widely-used
  • private (secret) key - judged so difficult to break it was restricted for export by US Gov.
  • 72,000,000,000,000,000 (72 quadrillion) or more possible encryption keys
  • key chosen at random - both sender and receiver must know and use the same private key
  • can run in several modes and involves 16 rounds or operations
  • many companies use "triple DES“ - applies three keys in succession
  • in 1997, Rivest-Shamir-Adleman, owners of another encryption approach, offered a $10,000 reward for breaking a DES message
  • cooperative effort on the Internet of over 14,000 computer users trying out various keys finally deciphered the message, discovering the key after running through only 18 quadrillion of the 72 quadrillion possible keys!
  • since that is has been superseded by Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
asymmetric encryption
Asymmetric Encryption
  • Better Known as Public/Private Key
    • user X has a pair of keys one public and one private
    • To encrypt a message to X use X’s public key
    • X will decrypt encrypted message using X’s private key that “matches” X’s public key
    • The keys are generated together in order that the encrypted data can be reverse engineered.
  • Most common algorithm is the RSA (Rivest Shamir Adelman) algorithm with key lengths from 512 to 1024 bits
  • Uses modular arithmetic & elementary number theory
  • based on the fact that it is extremely difficult to find the prime factors of large numbers.
  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP),
  • the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL),
  • S/MIME, Secure Electronic Transactions (SET),
  • Secure Shell (SSH).
  • X. 509 V.3 certificates as used in JXTA, Globus/OGSA
  • included in WWW browsers e.g. Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer
hash functions
Hash Functions
  • One-Way Functions
    • non-reversible “quick” encryption
    • produces a fixed length value called a hash or message digest
    • used to authenticate/integrity check contents of a message
    • Common message digest functions
      • MD4 and MD5
        • produces 128 bit hashes
      • SHA
        • produces 160 bit hashes
secure channels
Secure Channels
  • Protecting communication between two users e.g. peer-to-peer or client server
  • Two Types:
    • Symmetric
      • Shared Secret Keys
      • Session Keys
    • Asymmetric i.e. Public/Private Key
symmetric shared secret keys
Symmetric: Shared Secret Keys
  • generated once and secretly passed to the individuals
  • This can be done in a number of ways:
    • other methods e.g. by using public-keys
    • telephone each other
    • post it to each other.
  • Example system that uses this is Kerberos.
symmetric session keys
Symmetric: Session Keys
  • Dynamically created at run time
  • Can be done in two ways:
    • by using public-keys
      • generate a random key computed from a nonce encrypted using public keys
    • dynamically create using Diffie-Hellman key exchange
symmetric diffie hellman key exchange
SymmetricDiffie-Hellman Key Exchange
  • Also called exponential key agreement
  • Developed in 1976 - published ground-breaking paper "New Directions in Cryptography."
  • Allows two users to exchange a secret key over an insecure medium without any prior secrets.

Algorithm:

  • Both pick 2 large numbers, n andg (public) – subject to certain mathematical properties
  • Tim chooses secret large random number = x
  • Gareth chooses secret large random number = y
  • Tim computes (gx) mod n (public: virtually impossible to compute x from gx mod n)
  • Gareth computes gy mod n
  • They exchange public keys (gx) mod n and (gy) mod n
  • Gareth computes ((gx) mod n)ymod n = gxy mod n
  • Then, Tim computes ((gy) mod n)xmod n = gxy mod n
  • Both now have the shared secret key gxy mod n
example 1 asymmetric cryptosystem
Example 1: Asymmetric Cryptosystem
  • Tim sold Gareth a data projector for £750 through a chat room (email was their only communication channel).
  • Gareth sends Tim a message confirming that he will buy the projector for £750.
  • Two issues:
    • Tim needs to be assured that Gareth cannot deny ever having sent the message (if he starts to get second thoughts)
    • Gareth needs to be assured that Tim will not change the sum of £750 specified in his message to something higher
asymmetric cryptosystem example
Asymmetric Cryptosystem Example

Using Asymmetric: Public/Private Key Pairs:

  • Gareth encrypts the message using his private key
  • Gareth also encrypts the message (for privacy) using Tim’s public key
  • Tim can first decrypt the key using his private key then he can use Gareth’s public key to decrypt the original message from Gareth

So:

  • If Tim accepts that Gareth’s public key is in fact his then this must mean that the message came from Gareth.
  • Gareth knows that Tim received the message containing the original message because only Tim can open the message as he is the only person who has access to his private key
example 2 digital signatures
Example 2: Digital Signatures
  • Asymmetric cryptosystems allow users to digitally sign messages
    • allows a user to establish the message authenticity.
  • A hash function is used in the process of creating and verify a digital signature
    • Converts the document into a hash
    • Concise and efficient for calculation
signing
Signing

Hash

Function

Message

To

Verifier

Signing

Function

Digital

Signature

Private

Key

verifying
Verifying

Hash

Function

Message

Valid

Yes/No?

From

Signer

Verify

Function

Digital

Signature

Public

Key

digital signature verification
Digital Signature Verification
  • Verification indicates that:
    • the digital signature was created by the signer (i.e. s/he is the only person with access to the private key)
    • that the message was not altered since it was signed (because collisions are considered mathematically improbably).
  • There exist a number of different mathematical formulas and procedures, but all share this overall operational pattern
  • Note: Signing does not encrypt a message – it is merely a method of verifying identity
    • But encrypting a message with a private key also verifies a message – but much less efficient if this is its only purpose
digital certificates
Digital Certificates
  • A certificate binds a public key with an identity
    • most common are X509 certificates
  • typically include:
    • public key
    • details of the identity (organisation, email, location etc)
    • signature of the certificate generated by the private key of the certificate issuer and a hash of the certificate’s contents.
    • verified with the public key of the issuer.
  • can be either self-signed or signed by a Certificate Authority (CA)
    • CAs are well-known authorities e.g. VeriSign, godaddy
  • Certificates can be chained, i.e., each certificate has been signed by the next in the chain.
    • Trusted CAs form the root certificate of the chain.
  • In environments without central authority, certs can be used for a Web of Trust
    • I don’t know this person, but I know the person that signed their cert.
ssl and tls
SSL and TLS
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL):
    • standard for encrypted client/server communication
    • protocol that runs on top of TCP/IP
    • utilizes several security techniques e.g. public keys, symmetric keys, and certificates.
    • web sites commonly use SSL to guard private information such as credit card numbers.
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS):
    • successor to the SSL that adds more processes to the handshake.
tls handshake on the web
TLS handshake on the Web
  • A server exposes a public certificate
    • This might self-signed, or signed by a trusted third-party Certificate Authority (CA) e.g. GoDaddy
  • Client connects to server and sends:
    • supported encryption algorithms (cyphers) and hash functions
    • a random number
  • The server responds with
    • shared cyphers and hash functions
    • a random number
    • its public certificate
  • The client examines the certificate
    • may ask user to verify if self-signed or signed by an unknown CA
    • responds with a PreMasterKey– a new random number encrypted with the server’s public certificate key
  • Only the server can decrypt the PreMasterKey with its private key
  • Both then generate a master key from the PreMasterKey and the previously sent random numbers
  • The concluding handshake message of both parties includes a hash over all the messages seen by the party.
    • Master key is used to encrypt the messages in the subsequent session.
slide30

Java Sandbox

  • A Java Sandbox prohibits:
  • Reading or writing to the local disk
  • Making network connections to any host, except the host that hosted the applet
  • Creating a new process
  • Loading a new dynamic library and therefore directly calling a native method
  • Typically for applets
  • …but for P2P also ? CPU sharing etc
  • “Signed Applets” are trusted and treat like local code
  • Also implicit in the VM model
    • Application thinks it sees the machine but it is just an image that can be isolated
    • from other other VMs on the machine, and the machine itself