Third European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS 94)
A Secure Medium Access Control Protocol: Security versus Performances
Pierre Siron, Bruno d'Ausbourg
Abstract : Many systems were built in order to protect confidentiality of data and processes. This can be done by using multilevel architectures of machines and networks. But these architectures tolerate the existence of covert channels. We designed an architecture of a distributed security subsystem in order to avoid them, basing it on the use of secure dependencies. Controls exerted on dependencies can control exhaustively elementary flows of information. These controls are achieved by means of some hardware mechanisms which govern the access of hosts to the medium according to a secure medium access control protocol (or SMAC). This approach implements in a straightforward manner some multilevel security conditions that ensure a very high degree of protection. We wanted to measure the real cost of introducing security inside a MAC protocol, by comparing under simulation the performances of the SMAC protocol with some other standard but insecure MAC protocols.
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