ACE: A Novel Software Platform to Ensure the Integrity of Long Term Archives
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We develop a new methodology to address the integrity of long term archives using rigorous cryptographic techniques. A prototype system called ACE (Auditing Control Environment) was designed and developed based on this methodology. ACE creates a small-size integrity token for each digital object and some cryptographic summary information based on all the objects handled within a dynamic time period. ACE continuously audits the contents of the various objects according to the policy set by the archive, and provides mechanisms for an independent third-party auditor to certify the integrity of any object. In fact, our approach will allow an independent auditor to verify the integrity of every version of an archived digital object as well as link the current version to the original form of the object when it was ingested into the archive. We show that ACE is very cost effective and scalable while making no assumptions about the archive architecture. We include in this paper some preliminary results on the validation and performance of ACE on a large image collection.