Building and Evaluating a k-Resilient Mobile Distributed File System Resistant to Device Compromise
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Deploying mobile devices to frontline troops presents many potential benefits, e.g.\ situational awareness, enhanced communication capabilities, etc. However, security remains an impediment to realizing such capability. In this research, we develop and evaluate an approach to securing the non-volatile storage of a collection of mobile devices. Our technique relies on well-established cryptographic primitives, combining them in a unique way to meet military mission specific security and resiliency requirements. Specifically, we create MDFS, a distributed mobile file system using erasure coding, Shamir's threshold secret sharing, and the symmetric AES block cipher. The resulting system provides two important properties: (1) data at rest is protected even after total compromise of up to $k$ devices, and (2) data is replicated within an infrastuctureless ad hoc network and, as such, resilient to device outages. We implement MDFS on Android mobile devices and achieve $\simeq$10Mbps throughput in real-world performance experiments, suggesting that MDFS is suitable for a variety of practical workloads.
Proc. MILCOM Conference, Baltimore, MD, November 2011. (IEEE Ellersick Award winner – best unclassified paper)
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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