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Managing Access Control in Virtual Private Networks
Twum Djin
Dartmouth TR2005-544


Virtual Private Network technology allows remote network users to benefit from resources on a private network as if their host machines actually resided on the network. However, each resource on a network may also have its own access control policies, which may be completely unrelated to network access. Thus usersŐ access to a network (even by VPN technology) does not guarantee their access to the sought resources. With the introduction of more complicated access privileges, such as delegated access, it is conceivable for a scenario to arise where a user can access a network remotely (because of direct permissions from the network administrator or by delegated permission) but cannot access any resources on the network. There is, therefore, a need for a network access control mechanism that understands the privileges of each remote network user on one hand, and the access control policies of various network resources on the other hand, and so can aid a remote user in accessing these resources based on the user's privileges.

This research presents a software solution in the form of a centralized access control framework called an Access Control Service (ACS), that can grant remote users network presence and simultaneously aid them in accessing various network resources with varying access control policies. At the same time, the ACS provides a centralized framework for administrators to manage access to their resources. The ACS achieves these objectives using VPN technology, network address translation and by proxying various authentication protocols on behalf of remote users.

Note: Senior honors thesis.

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   Twum Djin, "Managing Access Control in Virtual Private Networks." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2005-544, June 2005.

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