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Block-Level Security for Network-Attached Disks

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journal contribution
posted on 29.03.2002, 00:00 by Marcos K. Aguilera, Minwen Ji, Mark Lillibridge, John MacCormick, Erwin Oertli, David G. Andersen, Mike Burrows, Timothy Mann, Chandramohan A. Thekkath
We propose a practical and efficient method for adding security to network-attached disks (NADs). In contrast to previous work, our design requires no changes to the data layout on disk, minimal changes to existing NADs, and only small changes to the standard protocol for accessing remote block-based devices. Thus, existing NAD file systems and storage-management software could incorporate our scheme very easily. Our design enforces security using the well-known idea of self-describing capabilities, with two novel features that limit the need for memory on secure NADs: a scheme to manage revocations based on capability groups, and a replay-detection method using Bloom filters. We have implemented a prototype NAD file system, called Snapdragon, that incorporates our ideas. We evaluated Snapdragon's performance and scalability. The overhead of access control is small: latency for reads and writes increases by less than 0.5 ms (5%), while bandwidth decreases by up to 16%. The aggregate throughput scales linearly with the number of NADs (up to 7 in our experiments).


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