The SwitchWare Active Network Architecture

Alexander, D. Scott; Arbaugh, William A.; Hicks, Michael W.; Kakkar, Pankaj; Keromytis, Angelos D.; Moore, Jonathan T.; Gunter, Carl A.; Nettles, Scott M.; Smith, Jonathan M.

Active networks must balance the flexibility of a programmable network infrastructure against the safety and security requirements inherent in sharing that infrastructure. Furthermore, this balance must be achieved while maintaining the usability of the network. The SwitchWare active network architecture is a novel approach to achieving this balance using three layers: active packets, which contain mobile programs that replace traditional packets; active extensions, which provide services on the network elements and can be dynamically loaded; and a secure active router infrastructure, which forms a high-integrity base on which the security of the other layers depends. In addition to integrity checking and cryptography-based authentication, security in our architecture depends heavily on verification techniques from programming languages, such as strong type checking.



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Computer Science
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July 7, 2011