The Starfish System

Scalable, Proactively Survivable Distributed Systems

Starfish is a new system currently under development that provides intrusion detection and intrusion tolerance for middleware applications operating in a distributed asynchronous system. The Starfish system contains a central, highly secure and tightly coupled core. This core is augmented by "arms" that are less tightly coupled and that have less stringent security guarantees, each of which can be removed from the core if a significant security breach occurs. New arms can be "grown" as needed.

One of Starfish's objectives is proactive survivability, where we utilize readily available system information to contain the spread of malicious faults. We employ epidemiological mechanisms, such as vaccination, to increase the resistance of the system to future attacks. Starfish is aimed at supporting distributed applications, such as Web Services, that must tolerate partitions, and that must continue to sustain survivability, in the presence of faults and malicious attacks.

Starfish are known to have small bodies, out of which spring forth a varying number of arms, which break off when damaged. These arms subsequently heal and re-grow. Detached starfish arms (also called "comets") can also regenerate new bodies.




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Last modified: Mon Sep 5 13:56:59 EDT 2005