A Secure Plan
Active Networks promise greater flexibility than current networks, but threaten safety and security by virtue of their programmability. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a security architecture for the active network PLANet [HMA+99]. Security is obtained with a two-level architecture that combines a functionally restricted packet language, PLAN [HKM+98], with an environment of general-purpose service routines governed by trust management [BFL96]. In particular, we employ a technique which expands or contracts a packet’s service environment based on its level of privilege, termed namespace-based security. As an application of our security architecture, we outline the design and implementation of an active-network firewall. We find that the addition of the firewall imposes an approximately 34% latency overhead and as little as a 6.7% space overhead to incoming packets.