New language protects home computers


 Companies, banks and other organisations take internet security very seriously, erecting firewalls and IT departments to protect them from attacks. But domestic and small office networks are just as vulnerable to hacking, malicious computer code, worms and viruses.

Geon Woo Kim of the Electronics and Telecom Research Institute (ETRI) Korea and colleagues who developed the specific codes said home networks have only a single gateway from the internet.

"Whenever a new access to the home network is found, it should be able to authenticate and authorise it and enforce the security policy based on rules set by the home administrator," the team said in an ETRI release.

To make such an approach effective but simple requires a way to consistently describe and specify the security policy.

The computer scientists first turned to a computer markup language, eXtensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML). XACML is a general purpose language and so it lacks the notation for security policies and authorisation rules.

The team has now developed a related language - Home security Description Language (xHDL) that includes the necessary notation for securing a home network. Their report appeared in the International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing.

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