An Architecture for a Secure Service Discovery Service

Steven E. Czerwinski
Ben Y. Zhao
Todd D. Hodes
Anthony D. Joseph
Randy H. Katz

Fifth Annual International Conference
on Mobile Computing and Networks (MobiCom 1999)

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Paper Abstract

The widespread deployment of inexpensive communications technology, computational resources in the networking infrastructure, and network-enabled end devices poses an interesting problem for end users: how to locate a particular network service or device out of hundreds of thousands of accessible services and devices. This paper presents the architecture and implementation of a secure Service Discovery Service (SDS). Service providers use the SDS to advertise complex descriptions of available or already running services, while clients use the SDS to compose complex queries for locating these services. Service descriptions and queries use the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to encode such factors as cost, performance, location, and device- or service-specific capabilities. The SDS provides a highly-available, fault-tolerant, incrementally scalable service for locating services in the wide-area. Security is a core component of the SDS and, where necessary, communications are both encrypted and authenticated. Furthermore, the SDS uses an hybrid access control list and capability system to control access to service information.