Secure group communication technology can be an enabling platform for building many kinds of distributed applications. However, our experience indicates that applications often have varying requirements in terms of security. Furthermore, many applications require a different notion of a group than that in traditional group communication applications where groups are fairly static and messages are generally sent to all members of the group. Instead, a large class of applications requires more selective addressing, where a message needs to be securely delivered to a changing subset of the group. This talk presents results from our investigation of these issues. We discuss Ismene, a language for supporting flexible security policies in multi-party communication. We also present results from our work on key management in content-based publish-subscribe systems where secure selective addressing in a group is required.
Atul Prakash is a Professor in the Department of EECS at the University of Michigan. His research interests include security policy management, secure communication, security of downloaded code, and groupware systems. In the Antigone and Ismene projects, he has designed ways to support flexible security policies in group communication systems. In his groupware research, he has designed techniques to manage consistency in groupware systems and designed several toolkits, including DistEdit and Collaboratory Builder’s Environment that have been used in large-scale collaboratory efforts such as the Upper Atmospheric Research Collaboratory project.