X3D: A Secure ISO Standard for Virtual Worlds

X3D: A Secure ISO Standard for Virtual Worlds

Joerg H. Kloss (X3D Consultant and Expert, Germany) and Peter Schickel (Bitmanagement Software GmbH, Germany & Web3D Consortium, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-891-3.ch010

Abstract

This chapter discusses the topic security in standard based virtual worlds with emphasis on X3D as the international ISO/IEC standard for Virtual Worlds. The general security challenges in persistent and economic virtual environments are addressed as well as the importance of standardization and security as the two key success factors for reliable, cost-effective and long-term attractive Virtual World (VW) platforms. Different actual standardization approaches are opposed to the established X3D format that follows a clear security standardization path. Based on the Internet standard XML the specific advantages of X3D are emphasized, like seamless integration into Web applications and deployment of generic XML tools. The generation of encrypted and signed X3D binary files is demonstrated according to the XML Security Recommendation of the W3C consortium. In a practical session the appliance of security approaches to concrete X3D implementation projects is described from the perspective of Bitmanagement (Bitmanagement, 2009), a market leader for interactive Web3D graphics software.
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Industry Standards And Proprietary Technology

However, with a reliable, independent, and transparent standard, investments into VW's could become more 'secure' also from an economical point of view. To overcome the prevailing multitude of proprietary technologies and privately held platforms, different standardization approaches are currently under development (Behr, 2009).

SUN Darkstar

A popular virtual worlds server is provided by the Darkstar project from SUN (SUN, 2009). In a strategic whitepaper SUN confirms that due to major technical differences of virtual worlds platforms open standards are needed in this domain and states that X3D is one possible solution here (SUN, 2008).

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