Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Enforcing role-based access control on a social network
by Anderson, James Carold, M.S., East Carolina University, 2012, 240; 1518475
Abstract (Summary)

Social networks supply a means by which people can communicate with each other while allowing for ease in initiating interaction and expressions. These systems of human collaboration may also be used to store and distribute information of a sensitive nature that must be secured against intrusions at all times. Given the massive operation embodied by social networks, multiple methods have been developed that control the flow of information so that those with authorization can gain access. Before allowing a social network to begin distributing its contents, a prudent prerequisite should be that the security protocols prevent unauthorized access.

Formal modeling and analysis of security properties, particularly those of Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), in social networks is the main focus of this thesis. A social network system and its security assurance mechanisms are modeled using the input language of Symbolic Model Verifier (SMV), and the properties of the system are specified using computation tree temporal logic (CTL*). Those properties are then verified using the SMV model checker. A real case was studied to demonstrate the effectiveness of model checking security properties in a social network system. The case consists of an account in which a group of users share various resources and access privileges which are controlled by RBAC. The case study results show that model checking is capable of formally analyzing security policies particularly RBAC in a social network system. In addition, the counter examples generated from model checking could help to create test cases for testing system implementation, and they can help us to find defects in the model as well. Formally modeling and model checking security policies in a complex system, like a social network, can greatly improve the security of these systems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ding, Junhua
Commitee: Abrahamson, Karl, Ding, Junhua, Ding, Qin, Tabrizi, Nasseh
School: East Carolina University
Department: Computer Science
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: MAI 51/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer science
Keywords: Model checking, Social networks
Publication Number: 1518475
ISBN: 978-1-267-60627-3
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