Protecting Mobile Web-Commerce Agents with Smartcards

Stefan Fünfrocken
Department of Computer Science,
Darmstadt University of Technology, Alexanderstr. 6,
D 64283 Darmstadt, Germany

Mobile agents add a new communication paradigm to traditional network communication mechanisms. In contrast to the classical mechanisms like remote programming, RPC, or client-server systems, mobile agents have specific advantages when used in a heterogeneous networking environment such as the World Wide Web. So far, the pervasiveness of publicly available mobile agent platforms is not given. Offering a seamless integration of mobile agents into the widespread and well-accepted WWW environment is crucial for the success of mobile agents. One of the growing fields of interest in the Web is the area of electronic commerce. Mobile Web-commerce agents could play a prominent role in future electronic commerce scenarios, if the malicious host problem could be solved. Our paper describes the integration of mobile agents into the Web and the use of Java cards to allow a mobile agent to store and transport data securely. This should promote the usage of mobile agents for electronic commerce purposes.