Browse Prior Art Database

A METHOD FOR SECURING CONTEXT-AWARE INFORMATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010150D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Oct-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Joseph Wodka: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A method in which the user of context-aware applications can exchange private information with other users within or outside of the secure system. Systems, which employ context, depend on access decisions to be made based on context of the requests. The method provided utilizes the features and capabilities typically associated with instant messaging to identify a service and acquire user information in order to control access among a plurality of communication devices.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 26% of the total text.

A Method for Securing Context-aware Information

By Joseph Wodka, Rich Rohles, Ambiga Dhiraj


Abstract: A method in which the user of context-aware applications can exchange private information with other users within or outside of the secure system. Systems, which employ context, depend on access decisions to be made based on context of the requests. The method provided utilizes the features and capabilities typically associated with instant messaging to identify a service and acquire user information in order to control access among a plurality of communication devices.

Computers have become pervasive both within the home and the community at large. Further the tendency of these systems to be mobile and wearable increases daily. This has lead to an emergence of a new generation of applications that make life eas­ier. Such applications provide access to valuable information and resources through computation known as context-awareness. The success of these applications depends on the ability to ensure that access to the information and resources is secure. Mechanisms employed must not only provide access but they must be dealt in such a way as not be burdensome or complex.

There are several framework mechanisms that encrypt communication, although none fully satisfy in respect to privacy, distribu­tion or scalability of the solution.

Traditional systems have relied on encryption to secure information between the parties. One method uses simple-key encryp­tion, where the same key is used to encrypt and decrypt the data. This has proved unworkable since no safe way exists to trans­mit the key. One of the ways to overcome this shortcoming is to use a technique called dual-key encryption. With this method a public key of the intended party is used to encrypt the data encryption key. The intended party then uses their private key to decrypt the data encryption key, which is than used to decrypt the data.

A number of problems with dual-key solutions arise. The sender not only must know which public key belongs to the recipient but must be able to obtain it in the first place. While the method is well suited for well-defined network components, it is compu­tationally intensive and difficult to manage in ad-hoc mobile scenarios involving numerous applications.

A method presented by IBM Emerging Technology Centre lays out a framework consisting of realms, which provides enhanced privacy for types of context usage. With this technique a hierarchical classification is defined and setup for the users contextual relationships. For example the classification of location may be generalized into well-defined areas such as towns, buildings, floors, rooms, etc. The context providers assign access to these realms to the intended users.

An initiative from Georgia Institute of Technology manipulates access to resources through use of role-based access control. With this model precise roles are assigned to both the user and environment and access policies activ...