Publication Date

Summer 2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Mark Stamp

Keywords

data integrity, hack attack, information assurance, information security, security software, UNDO

Subject Areas

Computer Science

Abstract

In recent years, our society has seen a shift towards a reliance on digital means of data storage. This paper considers the problem of digital data integrity protection, which is defined as preventing unauthorized writing of data. Numerous examples of successful attacks against seemingly secure targets are examined to support the assertion of the author that, at least in some circumstances, the integrity of digital data is difficult to preserve.

An approach to securing data is proposed in which a security administrator first assumes that a system will be compromised. This approach limits its focus to a nuisance-type attack, which is defined as an attempt to obscure shared non-sensitive data by limited-experience attackers. A trusted third party, the Universal Nuisance Defense Object (UNDO), is employed to monitor the system and automatically detect and abate unauthorized writing of data. This approach is further expanded upon by utilizing a tool set of metrics that allows one to measure the performance of UNDO, and appropriately configure it. This allows an administrator to optimize its efficiency, ideally to the point where this category of attack on the data integrity will be nullified.

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