Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Udo Bleimann

Second Advisor

Aidan McDonald


Security is a factor which decides upon the applicability of distributed applications. Therefore this thesis deals with security in distributed systems. The complexity of the existing distributed technologies makes it necessary to reduce the number of distributed technologies considered in this thesis, i.e. concentrating on: Java, Mobile Agents and CORBA, where only Java-based mobile agents will be considered.

After a short review of basic security principles including firewalls, existing security problems in the above mentioned distributed technologies are analysed. Additional generic problems in distributed systems are outlined.

Solutions are referring to two different areas: those regarding security problems with firewalls and solutions regarding security problems at application level. For most of the problems different solutions and approaches have been presented.

The solutions at application level are also analysed using criteria which have been defined in the first chapter.

A framework for different application types, which should be able to guarantee security in four basic scenarios, has been defined in the thesis. These four scenarios use different security mechanisms. Based on the conclusions of the previous work for every scenario a solution has been presented. The focus lies on the selection and integration of old and new technologies. In theses scenarios a method to find the weakest element has been defined. This method which is based on experience, is applied on the Internet-to-Intranet scenario.


Submitted to the National Council for Educational Awards, July 2000

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