A Theory of Integrating Tamper Evidence with Stabilization

Reza Hajisheykhi, Ali Ebnenasir, Sandeep S. Kulkarni


We propose the notion of \ds stabilization --that combines stabilization with the concept of tamper evidence-- for computing systems. On the first glance, these notions are contradictory; stabilization requires that eventually the system functionality is fully restored whereas tamper evidence requires that the system functionality is permanently degraded in the event of tampering. \Ds stabilization captures the intuition that the system will tolerate perturbation upto a limit. In the event that it is perturbed beyond that limit, it will exhibit permanent evidence of tampering, where it may provide reduced (possibly none) functionality. We compare \ds stabilization with (conventional) stabilization and with active stabilization and propose an approach to verify \ds stabilizing programs in polynomial time. We demonstrate \ds stabilization with two examples and argue how approaches for designing stabilization can be used to design \ds stabilization. We also study issues of composition in \ds stabilization. Finally, we point out how \ds stabilization can effectively be used to provide tradeoff between fault-prevention and fault tolerance.


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