Plug-n-Trust: Practical trusted sensing for mHealth


Jacob Sorber, Minho Shin, Ron Peterson, and David Kotz. Plug-n-Trust: Practical trusted sensing for mHealth. Proceedings of the International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys), pages 309–322. ACM, June 2012. doi:10.1145/2307636.2307665. ©Copyright ACM.


Mobile computing and sensing technologies present exciting opportunities for healthcare. Prescription wireless sensors worn by patients can automatically deliver medical data to care providers, dramatically improving their ability to diagnose, monitor, and manage a range of medical conditions. Using the mobile phones that patients already carry to provide connectivity between sensors and providers is essential to keeping costs low and deployments simple. Unfortunately, software-based attacks against phones are also on the rise, and successful attacks on privacy-sensitive and safety-critical applications can have significant consequences for patients.

In this paper, we describe Plug-n-Trust (PnT), a novel approach to protecting both the confidentiality and integrity of safety-critical medical sensing and data processing on vulnerable mobile phones. With PnT, a plug-in smart card provides a trusted computing environment, keeping data safe even on a compromised mobile phone. By design, PnT is simple to use and deploy, while providing a flexible programming interface amenable to a wide range of applications. We describe our implementation, designed for Java-based smart cards and Android phones, in which we use a split-computation model with a novel path hashing technique to verify proper behavior without exposing confidential data. Our experimental evaluation demonstrates that PnT achieves its security goals while incurring acceptable overhead.

Citable with [BibTeX]

Projects: [tish]

Keywords: [mhealth] [security]

Available from the publisher: [DOI]

Available from the author: [bib] [pdf]
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[Kotz research]