Bounded Auditable Restoration of Distributed Systems

Reza Hajisheykhi, Mohammad Roohitavaf, Sandeep S. Kulkarni


We focus on protocols for auditable restoration of distributed systems. The need for such protocols arises due to conflicting requirements (e.g., access to the system should be restricted but emergency access should be provided). One can design such systems with a tamper detection approach (based on the intuition of {\em In-case-of-emergency-break-glass}). However, in a distributed system, such tampering, which are denoted as auditable events, is visible only for a single node. This is unacceptable since the actions they take in these situations can be different than those in the normal mode. Moreover, eventually, the auditable event needs to be cleared so that system resumes the normal operation. With this motivation, in this paper, we present two protocols for auditable restoration, where any process can potentially identify an auditable event. The first protocol has an unbounded state space while the second protocol uses bounded state space that does not increase with the length of the computation. In both protocols, whenever a new auditable event occurs, the system must reach an {\em auditable state} where every process is aware of the auditable event. Only after the system reaches an auditable state, it can begin the operation of restoration. Although any process can observe an auditable event, we require that only {\em authorized} processes can begin the task of restoration. Moreover, these processes can begin the restoration only when the system is in an auditable state. Our protocols are self-stabilizing and can effectively handle the case where faults or auditable events occur during the restoration protocol. Moreover, they can be used to provide auditable restoration to other distributed protocols.


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