Attestation-based Policy Enforcement for Remote Access

Intranet access has become an essential function for corporate users. At the same time, corporation's security administrators have little ability to control access to corporate data once it is released to remote clients. At present, no confidentiality or integrity guarantees about the remote access clients are made, so it is possible that an attacker may have compromised such a system and is now downloading or modifying corporate data. Even if the remote user must know a password to establish a remote access tunnel to the corporate Intranet, it is possible that a malicious process can hijack an existing connection and access corporate services and documents by masquerading the authorized remote user. Thus, even though we have corporate-wide access control over remote users, the access control approach is currently insu±cient to stop these malicious processes. We have designed and implemented a novel system that empowers corporations to verify client integrity properties and establish trust upon the client policy enforcement before allowing clients (remote) access to corporate Intranet services. Client integrity is measured using a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a new security technology that is becoming broadly available on client systems, and our system uses these measurements for access policy decisions enforced upon the client's processes. We have implemented a Linux 2.6 prototype system that utilizes the TPM measurement and attestation, existing Linux network control (Netfilter), and existing corporate policy management tools in the Tivoli Access Manager to control remote client access to corporate data. This prototype illustrates that our solution integrates seamlessly into scalable corporate policy management and introduces only a minor performance overhead.

By: Reiner Sailer, Trent Jaeger, Xiaolan Zhang, Leendert van Doorn

Published in: RC23205 in 2004


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