The International Arab Journal of Information Technology (IAJIT)


Design and Implementation of Inter-operable and Secure Agent Migration Protocol

Mobile agent technology is an active research topic and has found its uses in various diverse areas ranging from simple personal assistance to complex distributed big data systems. Its usage permits offline and autonomous execution as compared to classical distributed systems. The free roaming nature of agents makes it prone to several security threats during its transit state, with an added overhead in its interoperability among different types of platforms. To address these problems, both software and hardware based approaches have been proposed to ensure protection at various transit points. However, these approaches do not ensure interoperability and protection to agents during transit over a channel, simultaneously. In this regard, an agent requires a trustworthy, interoperable, and adaptive protocol for secure migration. In this paper, to answer these research issues, we first analyse security flaws in existing agent protection frameworks. Second, we implemented a novel migration architecture which is: 1) fully inter-operable compliance to the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) and 2) trustworthy based on Computing Trusted Platform Module (TPM). The proposed approach is validated by testing on software TPM of IBM, JSR321, and jTPMTools as TPM and Trusted Computing Software Stack (TSS) interfaces, JADE-agent framework and 7Mobility Service (JIPMS). Validation is also performed on systems bearing physical TPM-chips. Moreover, some packages of JIPMS are also modified by embedding our proposed approach into their functions. Our performance results show that our approach merely adds an execution overhead during the binding and unbinding phases.

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