Department of Mathematics
Royal Holloway University Of London

Technical report: Role Signatures for Access Control in Grid Computing

Authors: Jason Crampton and Hoon Wei Lim

Abstract: Implementing access control efficiently and effectively in an open and distributed grid environment is a challenging problem. One reason for this is that users requesting access to remote resources may be unknown to the authorization service that controls access to the requested resources. Hence, it seems inevitable that pre-defined mappings of principals in one domain to those in the domain containing the resources are needed. A second problem in such environments is that verifying the authenticity of user credentials or attributes can be difficult. In this paper, we propose the concept of role signatures to solve these problems by exploiting the hierarchical structure of a virtual organization within a grid environment. Our approach makes use of a hierarchical identity-based signature scheme whereby verification keys are defined by generic role identifiers defined within a hierarchical namespace. We show that individual member organizations of a virtual organization are not required to agree on principal mappings beforehand to enforce access control to resources. Moreover, user authentication and credential verification is unified in our approach and can be achieved through a single role signature.

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posted 11 May 2007

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