Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Secure file transfers using mobile device
by Maddirala, Raghunath R., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 71; 1481747
Abstract (Summary)

Recent advances in the mobile device technology have given them the status of being called as mini computers. These mobile devices are equipped with an array of features like their own operating system, memory, processor and various other input devices. Mobile devices in the form of smart phones are capable of accessing the internet and this opens up the possibility of accessing a much wider array of applications on the device. But technology always comes with a price and the price in this case is the security of the device. Since the mobile device is highly portable, the risk of losing the device is at its peak. It is this vulnerability that hampers the storage of sensitive data on the device. A solution to this problem would be to encrypt the data on the device and store it on a remote server or a home computer. This leads to the need for providing an efficient encryption method to encrypt the data on the device. But delivering security to the data raises a number of issues mostly related to the limited amount of resources like low processing power and battery on the device. The most important issue being: while it should be computationally impossible for the hackers to decrypt the data on the device, the encryption and decryption operation by the owner should be efficient for legitimate use and minimize battery drain.

This thesis proposes a setup for secure file transfers from a mobile device to a home computer/remote server. The setup involves two basic steps. The first step is to encrypt the data to be transferred to the server and the second step is to establish a secure session with the server/home computer using the internet. The remote server/home computer used is Apache Web Server with mod_ssl. This enables the server with Secure Sockets Layer capability. The interface between the mobile device browser and the server is a simple PHP file manager application for file uploading and downloading. The encryption method used is a light weight encryption technique where the data to be encrypted is considered as binary bits and the key for encryption is a bit stream randomly abstracted from the data itself. The bit stream data is encrypted and the cipher text is securely stored on the remote server/home computer and the key stream remains on the mobile device. In this way, it offers security at both ends. An adversary having access to the cipher text on home computer cannot decrypt it without the key stream and the mobile device itself does not contain data on it, making it secure against the threat of being lost or stolen.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Englert, Burkhard
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Computer science
Publication Number: 1481747
ISBN: 978-1-109-66984-8
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