Transferring data is one of the key operations performed by millions of users every day. Users do this by issuing direct commands, such as file transfer commands, or indirectly as a feature invoked by numerous end-user applications. The most important security characteristic of a successful data exchange is the integrity of that data. The receiver user desires to acquire data that has not been modified through malicious acts, or simple human or machine error. Applications that rely on the Transfer Control Protocol (TCP) as the main mechanism to provide end-to-end reliability, including error and sequence control, do not check the integrity of the file being transmitted prior to the transfer. In this paper, we present an overview of current data transfer mechanisms and their security provisions and propose an internal integrity mechanism that provides a triangulation means of error control through the use of one-way hash functions based on the original file being transferred; and a discussion of the implications and limitations that such a mechanism imparts on data transfer mechanisms.
Colarik, Andrew; Gutiérrez, Jairo; and Janczewski, Lech, "Securing Data Transfers: An Integrity Algorithm for Error Recovery Triangulation" (2007). PACIS 2007 Proceedings. 44.