KTH-SEECS Applied Information Security Lab

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)

Secure infrastructure and applications for mobile objects (MagicNet)

Domain:Mobile Agents

Status: Completed 
Contact Person(s): Muhammad Awais Shibli

Date of Completion: June, 2010 

MagicNET, which stands for Mobile Agents Intelligent Community Network, provides all infrastructural and functional components needed for research and development of secure mobile agents: support for building secure and trusted mobile agents, agent's repository (agents' store), mobile agent servers (platforms for their execution), management station, and all necessary security servers (IDMS, CMS server, Local CA Server, UDDI Server etc).One of the important problems of security for mobile agents is authorization of agents. Appropriate access control should be applied to mobile agents at remote hosts, i.e. how agents can be authenticated and then authorized to perform different operations. There are a number of solutions for this problem, all solving it at the architectural level.

Significant research has been conducted on mobile agents' security in the last decade. Although this area is very popular, there are still many open research problems that no one has addressed so far. We have addressed these problems in form of research questions: 

  • How to create trusted mobile agents?
  • How to adopt trusted mobile agents in a secure manner?
  • How to establish trustin mobile agents' code during their deployment?
  • How to protect mobile agents and their baggage during execution?
  • How to establish secure communication between two mobile agents during execution, and finally? 


Our proposed network security system uses multifaceted approach in order to eliminate network security threats. The above figure shows only the high level system component interaction.Each rectangle in above figure shows the components and roles of each phase mentioned in previous section. MagicNET conceptually structured into four functional phases:

  • Trusted Mobile Agents Creation and Validation Phase: when agents are being created, validated and appraised.
  • Mobile Agents Acquisition Phase, when agents are published and adopted.
  • Mobile Agents Deployment Phase, when agents are retrieved, users are authenticated and XACML polices are created for specific ocal domains.
  • Mobile Agents Execution Phase, which contains runtime components (physical network) for agents. Agents traverse the network  and perform their tasks during execution phase.

Project Documentation