Communications and Network, 2013, 5, 473-477 Published Online September 2013 (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
A Secure Approach to Educating a
Mobile World-Class Military
A Mobile Secure Concept for Accessing the Classroom from Around the World
Terry C. House
Thouse Technology Research and Development, Fayetteville, NC, USA
Received April 2013
The “Mobile Secure Role Base Access Control Device” (MS-Ro-BAC) Device and database is a single unit system with
the ability to instantly connect to secure databases around the world through Low Earth Orbit Satellite (LEO) using
VPN wired communications. The capabilities provided by the MS-Ro-BAC device would support the Global War on
Terrorism” and increase the security of US force and Department of Defense Personnel around the world. Information
dissemination in an austere environment is the focus of this seminal research; combat forces and DoD personnel depend
on timely strategic information before making life threatening decisions on the battle field. This manuscript provides the
framework and a prototype to improve the information dissemination process in the modern day information scenario.
Keywords: Wireless; RBAC; Computer; Networking; Security; Secure; Education; Military; US; DoD
1. Introduction
A Military service member attending college, who dep-
loys away from the United States is required to commu-
nicate with their education provider before leaving the
country to figure out how they will continue their educa-
tion once they are no longer in USA. Most soldiers will
depend upon the local nation’s Internet to connect to the
university’s servers and educational resources while they
are deployed; however, this form of communication plat-
form is very unstable and unreliable for most university
classroom activities. T he 21st Century military is requ ired
to use some of the most advanced technological systems
in the world to fight the enemy; therefore, these men and
women are now required to think fast, react to all types
of data and information in a professional manner. To
execute their wartime mission, they must be not only
highly educated in the art of war, but also in the world of
general knowledge at the scholastic level. These individ-
uals are required to interact with different personalities
around the world, and having a solid college education is
one way of ensuring our men and women in the military
a solid foundation in how to conduct themselves in any
setting they are in while defending the United States of
2. Problem Statement
Military students constantly struggle to complete their
education while deployed. The current communication
approach used in the military does not support an ap-
proach to educate their members while deployed. The
current systems are not very good at sending communi-
cating with non-military network systems in an educa-
tional secure ad -hoc manner around the world as well. In
a global war scenario, there is not a strategic communi-
cation process in place assist the fighting men and wom-
en to effectively complete their online courses from an-
ywhere in the world and submit their assignments in a
timely manner. When students cannot complete or con-
tinue their educational aspirations while deployed, it be-
comes a significant drain on their morale. This drop in
enthusiasm and passion soon turns into a lack of desire to
stay in the military and suppor t the commander’s combat
mission [2] (Steven Greenwald).
3. Prior Research
The motivation to conduct this research was inspired by
Role Based Access Control on the Web” [4] (Ravi Sand-
hu). The journal introduced various methods of imple-
menting RBAC in a secure environment. Different
drawing and data structures suggested a variety of client
and server architectural designs. However, the journal
did not produce a persuasive remedy for unifying the
various techniques to support an approach to educating
military forces deployed around the world. Software
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
businesses are attempting to solve the RBAC issues by
embedding the role implementation process within the
software. Many companies use proprietary RBAC soft-
ware, which has impeded RBAC standardization on a
larger scale. Dr. Strembeck [3] designed xoRBAC soft-
ware, which provides a flexibl e RBAC se rvic e. Du e to the
nature of combat and the type of information sent around
the world, all security objects must fit in the same access
architecture in order to communicate effectively and al-
low students to access their college classrooms across
different platforms [2] (Steven Greenwald).
4. What is RBAC?
Role Based Access Control is the use of generated tem-
plates of access authorizations and agreements applied to
a specific student or professor. In the past, network ad-
ministrators dealt with change after change; each new
user required a profile designed for their access authori-
ties. This new form of access control is a proven altern a-
tive to traditional discretionary and mandatory access con-
trol. RBAC technology has been around since 1990 as a
trusted way to manage databases and network access in
large corporations. The network administrator ensures that
each patron has access privileges to their information area
only. RBAC supports three essential security principles:
information hiding, least-privileges and separation of du-
ties. In Figure 1, the “Role” is a semantic concept forming
the basis of RBAC positions. The administrator’s initial
necessity is to build “Role” [7] (S and hu R).
In Figure 2, the instructor is the base role of the
classroom process, from this position of authorization,
the students and administrators are implemented into the
classroom as either learner or supporting entity to the
mobile classroom system.
A New Vision for S ecure RBAC
In a normal access controlled process, each user receives
approval to access specific information, based on the level
of trust placed in the user. In order for the administrator
Figure 1. Example roles in a MS-Ro-BAC system.
Figure 2. Relationship model of hierarchy.
to grant access to certain levels of information, the user
must have met certain attribute requirements. Those
attributes of the user are role, access identity and group
or clearance level. The ideology of students connecting
through secure authenticating hardware and software is a
vital design methodology of the MS-Ro-BAC system. The
device consists of three major concepts: Secure hardware,
software and satellite communications from anywhere I
the world. The user connects to secure LEO satellites by
network browser SHTTP connection. A network intelli-
gent agent controls the actual roles assigned to the users
in any domain [9] (Thomsen D).
5. The Mobile Secure RBAC Network
The thought process behind this Device is to take the
server-pull technology design above and implement it
directly into a (firmware) product that is small and mo-
bile. This device concept would be directly in line with a
VPN concept that is supported by the Universities that
are part of the network of schools committed to support-
ing our Military forces around the world. The device
could resemble a laptop or tablet; however, it could also
be a “System on Stick”; meaning it could be a USB de-
vice active system that makes any device compliant with
the software needed to communicate with those institu-
tions that are part of the global VPN connectivity system.
On the university end of the connection process, would
be a high-speed network designed to support satellite
long-range communications with their students. The in-
stitutional side of the network would ensure that there is
always a VPN and server that control the data communi-
cations in proximity of the student. In a MS-Ro-BAC
Network environment, there are no dedicated hubs, serv-
ers, special hard-drives or local administrators. The Net-
work system will instantly provide users with the ability
to transmit data, instan t message and conduct live conf e-
rences while participating in a Distributed Compartment
(DISCOM) RBAC secure environment [3] (Greenwald S).
Software and Hardware Aspects
The university could create a system that is completely
self-contained, as it pertains to the hardware and software
needed to communicate directly to their institution’s sa-
tellite network. The system case could be lightweight and
very durable where field use is applicable. A small key-
board and GUI is available to send and receive data.
There are two USB ports to assist with uploading and
downloading of files. A proprietary operating system (OS)
that is similar to the Microsoft Pentium 4 processor New
Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) will con-
trol the mobile device. A wireless network radio will
sustain LEO satellite connectivity. Biometric thumbprint
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
and retina scan requirements are part of the access autho-
rization process when initiating the boot process. The
device is capable of connecting directly to a static com-
puting base that is not secure or as an independent system.
Standard Wi-Fi communicat ion electro nics are standard in
the hardware architecture; this authorizes the user to
communicate with other MS-Ro-BAC users through sa-
tellite connectivity. This device should remain in a secure
location that is accessible by the student only. However,
if such an environment is not available, it is possible to
view information through a secure viewing apparatus.
Encrypted software and hardware technology in the de-
vice require authentication with the operating systems at
all times during data transmission. The proprietary soft-
ware will support chat abilities, instant messaging and
file transfers through secure VPN encrypted format [3]
(Greenwald S). Figure 3. Illustrates the MS-Ro-BAC
device physical attributes. The case measures approx-
imately 132 sq. inches and 1.5 inches thick. Position 1
indicates the rear panel input areas for network and fiber
optic connections. Position 2 indicates the USB ports.
Position 3 indicates the areas for an external monitor and
keyboard connection. Position 4 designates the thumb-
print (T) and retina scan (R) location. Position 5 indicates
various system indicators and control buttons. Position 6
depicts the satellite antenna for LEO Satellite device op-
erations. Position 7 (C) portrays a digital camera. In the
future, field commanders can securely network with high-
er headquarters and subordinates as soon as each indi-
vidual’s device has entered the LEO network and suc-
cessfully authenticated their systems hardware and soft-
ware. After a satisfactory handshake, the secure connec-
tion is made.
This device has three modes: 1) Deployed indepen-
dently for LEO satellite connectivity fro m any location in
the world; 2) Configured for normal unsecured use not
connected to a wired or wireless network in the US; 3)
The least favorable use of the device is coupling with
non-trusted static computer peripherals; keyboards, mon-
Figure 3. MS-Ro-BAC network device.
itors and external storage devices. The preferred imple-
mentation of the device is a standalone Satellite Virtual
Private Network (VPN) communication system. Figure 4.
Illustrates how each device activates and automatically
authenticates through encrypted hardware and software
technology. Once initiated, the user must submit a thumb
or retina scan, then login to the interface with user-name
and password. The network software will initiate the
“tracker program” that will survey the entire ne twork for
fellow MS-Ro-BAC devices and begin the handshake
process with other students in the same classroom for
group meetings and seminars. After completing the sys-
tem authorization process, the user will receive a graphi-
cal user interface that depicts all activated MS-Ro-BAC
devices. Standard graphics and data come standard on
every machine to decrease the message size, redundancy
and increase the bandwidth speed during transmission [3]
(Greenwald S). Figure 4 provides insight into the me-
thodology of the communication process and access au-
thorization. This design ensures participants in one clas-
sification cannot penetrate data of higher authorization
levels. In distributed Compartments (DISCOM) 1, 2 and
3 the letters stand for the following: s = Subject (users,
databases), o = Objects (files, etc.), p = Privileges, r =
Resource Pool (CPU, computing power), h = Handles
(names or code names used for users). Notice that D1 has
direct connectivity to D2 and D3; th is giv es dir ec t con tro l
and access to both DISCOMs [3] (Greenwald S).
The proprietary software instantly reads the RBAC in-
formation of other devices and places each device in the
hierarchy structure in which they have access, as it per-
tains to school, instru ctor, administrator etc. Therefor e, if
four students logged in and the head Governor (D1) was
not there, each student becomes a peer-to-peer connec-
tion. In a MS-R-BAC infrastructure, the main DISCOM
in Washington DC is “Big Brother” (BB), such as the
University. Management of lower DISCOMs is the job of
lower ranking Controllers, such as satellite campuses
around the country. BB has authority over every DIS-
COM and its individual students and instructors. BB can
Figure 4. A LEO network with 3 DISCOMs.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
immediately suspend any user’s rights without the per-
mission of their local DISCOM controller or governor.
BB creates an instance of itself to share information and
chat with subordinate schools. Washington, in Figure 5,
resides in a monitoring position. The duplicate image of
BB ensures covert channels do not exist to senior DIS-
COMs. This code design is transparent to the users. The
different countries represent areas where students may be
deployed around the world and pursuing their education
[3] (Greenwald S).
6. Proprietary Software Implementation
The MS-Ro-BAC Device will include various types of
proprietary firmware and authentication programs to en-
sure file transfers, chats, and synchronized meetings are
secure. Each device incorporates biometric scanner to
identify the device and student using it. A login name
and password is required to access the systems applica-
tion environment. The device includes encrypted confe-
rencing software with integrated middleware to ensure
authorized users are the only recipients and course in-
formation. The highly encrypted Object Oriented Data
Module (OODM) ensures the “no write-up” restrictions
of subordinates’ users are enforced. Public Key Infra-
structure software will digitally sign and encrypt files
automatically before transmission. This dynamic approach
to satellite communications allows several devices to cor-
respond at anytime without the supervision of higher level
DISCOMs. An aggressive anti-virus defense algorithm
will ensure the device maintains system integrity before
initiating connectivity with other devices. Once the user
accesses the network, secure tracking and discovery soft-
ware locates other devices available in the system [1]
(Baldwin RW) [3] (Greenwald SJ) [7] (Sandhu R).
The hierarchical model is responsible for the theory of
Role-sets of authorized users and permissions. Role-sets
are objects grouped together under one class that autho-
rizes multiple role positions to the selected users of that
set. The permissions assigned to that role are basic and
dynamic as needed by the RBAC Governor or BB [7]
(Sandhu R). The basic essentials in a Core RBAC inte-
raction are: 1) Use rs (USERS); 2) Roles (ROLES); 3) ob-
jects (OBS), operations (OPS), and permissions (PRMS).
Figure 5. B. Brother conferencing with controllers.
Senior managers assign roles and permissions to each
user. The user may be another device automatically work-
ing at the highest level in Washington [9] (Th omsen DJ)
[4] (Nyanchama M and Osborn S) [7] (Sandhu R).
Figure 6 illustrates th e Middle East DISC OM and four
local stations within its command sector. D1.0 is an in-
stance of D1. In the diagram, a one directional arrow
symbolizes the no write uprule for preventing covert
channels to unauthorized devices: D1. There is a two-
way communication channel, depicted by a two-headed
arrow, between D1 and its instance D10. This illustrates
the required procedure for D1 to receive information
from subordinate objects. Objects D1.1, through D1.4 are
examples of other countries in theatre: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait
and Jordon.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The conventional and Special Operations communities
have not incorporated such a device to support the mili-
tary forces continuing their academic program while dep-
loyed in other countries. There are individual systems that
support one or two aspects of this process; however, they
are not capable of instantly linking individual students in
a Virtual Private Network around the world to conduct
their classroom activities. This device will correlate with
existing LEO network satellites th at are presently in orbit.
[1] (Baldwin RW). Information security through hard-
ware and software authentication provides a reliable ap-
proach to ensure only authorized devices can receive and
send data on this network. The MS-Ro-BAC Device will
include several AI biometric programs to maintain the
integrity of the authorized user.
The negative aspects of the MS-Ro-BAC system do
not over-shadow the positive advantages of providing a
quality education to soldiers who are defending the USA
around the world. Due to many institutions experiencing
a low in attendance, it can prohibit the development of
such a network and system. Funding has always inhibited
the progress of new evolving technology. Another dis-
advantage is poor reception during electrical storms or
the absence of a satellite foot printthat provides cov-
erage for system users. Any network blackout can de-
stroy the bandwidth and throughput to support the MIS-
Ro-BAC Device and the LEO Satellites ability to support
their existing responsibilities. Another disadvantage is
Figure 6. A LEO network with 5 subordinates.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
device compromise. If unauthorized individuals acquire
the system, it is possible to reverse-engineer some as-
pects of the firmware and destroy the integrity of the
classroom process. However, AI security software will
hopefully detect and defeat such attempts [4] (Nyancha-
ma M and Osborn S).
7. Conclusion
Continued research and development of the MS-Ro-BAC
device is underway in a private design approach, which
includes proprietary software concepts and ideas. The sig-
nificance of this research is to investigate different areas
of RBAC, with the intent of producing a logical propos al
that will enhance ability of deplo yed US military soldiers
to seamlessly continue their education abroad. The re-
search has suggested a secure design and architectural
framework for a Mobile Secure classroom. The momen t-
ous principles of this manuscript are strategic security
and information processing in a post 911 environment,
where different universities and colleges can work to-
gether for the betterment of deployed military personnel.
The advantages of implementing a device with such ope-
rability would revolutionize the IT industry, and change
the way in which we view education in the military com-
munity. The MS-Ro-BAC Network will ensure portabil-
ity and ease of data transfers from different schools on a
shared platform. Critical areas of desired research and
development are LEO satellite technology that will sup-
port Wi-Fi MS-Ro-BAC communication, and a VPN server
connection agreed upon by different universities to com-
municate with all US. Military students around the wor ld
in order to achieve their educational goals while dep-
loyed [1] (Ferraiolo DF, Sandhu R, Gavrila S, Kuhn R,
Chandramouli R ) [3] (Greenwald SJ).
8. Acknowledgements
This research was sponsored and conducted by Dr. Terry
C. House, in an attempt to bring education to US Military
personnel around the world.
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