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Method to use a Transcoder Proxy with secure data for heterogeneous devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020683D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Dec-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Dec-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 93K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The ubiquitous way of transmitting confidential data is done using SSL connections. The drawback of sending encrypted data is that transcoding proxy are no more able to transcode the pages. The solution described hereafter solves the problem of sending secured data and still be able to transcode the corresponding web page according to any pervasive target device.

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Method to use a Transcoder Proxy with secure data for heterogeneous devices

More and more Web based information is accessed by a large variety of devices like Personal Computer, Screenphone, handheld and other pervasive devices (PDA, mobile phone,...). Each of these devices have their own characteristics (screen size, JVM,...) and do not necessary support all features or protocols used by Web servers.

As example: - Size/coding/Number of colors - Support of Applet or JavaScript - Font size - Markup language HTML, Wireless Markup Language (WML), Handheld Device Markup Language (HDML), VoiceXML, Compact HTML used

by i-mode devices. Adaptation of Web objects (pages, images,...) may be done directly by the server, but most of the server accessible on Internet are not able to adapt their object to the target devices.

    To answer this requirement, a new presentation layer has been introduced as a proxy in the infrastructure. This layer is in charge of catching the HTTP flow from the web server to the client and adapt the presentation to the client device capabilities. As this is a very cost effective way of managing access from multiple devices without having to modify the content source, this type of architecture has had a large success on the web. Unfortunately, it also introduced some limitations.

    One of the main limitation is that transcoding on-the-fly cannot handle secured, encrypted flow because it is not able to decrypt the data. For this reason, many customers have been unable to implement the transcoding proxy pattern and use some more complex and expensive workarounds.

    It is a fact that transcoding cannot magically seat in the middle of a secured connection and transcode encrypted data. Meanwhile, this limitation can be circumvented by securing the sensitive data only.

Principle:

    The original document is modified to enclosed sensitive data between <secure> and <\secure> tags. Instead of sending all the data on a secured channel (SSL), secured data marked by tags is separated at the origin from non secured data in order to send it on two different flows. Sensitive data is retrieved separately on an SSL connection while the rest can be now processed by the transcoding proxy.

A brows...