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Three Design Patterns for Secure Distributed Systems

Karp, Alan H.; Smathers, Kevin

HPL-2003-40

Keyword(s): distributed computing; security

Abstract: The computers we use are not secure, and they are even less so when connected to the Internet. A lot of blame has been put on lazy sysadmins for not applying patches promptly, but the fault is not entirely theirs. We believe that distributed systems should be designed to make attacks harder and to limit the damage done when attacks succeed. We propose three components of the system architecture that address these goals and make distributed systems easier to monitor and manage, while simplifying the task of writing secure applications. Following these guidelines won't make the system secure, but doing so will make it easier to build systems that are.

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