2nd International ICST Conference on Security and Privacy in Comunication Networks

Research Article

Non-Invasive Methods for Host Certification

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1109/SECCOMW.2006.359539,
        author={Patrick Traynor and Michael Chien and Scott Weaver and Boniface  Hicks and Patrick  McDaniel},
        title={Non-Invasive Methods for Host Certification},
        proceedings={2nd International ICST Conference on Security and Privacy in Comunication Networks},
        keywords={Certification Assurance Network Security Malware},
  • Patrick Traynor
    Michael Chien
    Scott Weaver
    Boniface Hicks
    Patrick McDaniel
    Year: 2007
    Non-Invasive Methods for Host Certification
    DOI: 10.1109/SECCOMW.2006.359539
Patrick Traynor1, Michael Chien1, Scott Weaver1, Boniface Hicks1, Patrick McDaniel1
  • 1: Systems and Internet Infrastructure Security (SIIS) Lab, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University.


Determining whether a user or system is exercising appropriate security practices is difficult in any context. Such difficulties are particularly pronounced when uncontrolled or unknown platforms join public networks. Commonly practiced techniques used to vet these hosts, such as system scans, have the potential to infringe upon the privacy of users. In this paper, we show that it is possible for clients to prove both the presence and proper functioning of security infrastructure without allowing unrestricted access to their system. We demonstrate this approach, specifically applied to anti-virus security, by requiring clients seeking admission to a network to positively identify the presence or absence of malcode in a series of puzzles. The implementation of this mechanism and its application to real networks are also explored. In so doing, we demonstrate that it is not necessary for an administrator to be invasive to determine whether a client implements good security practices