- Drew Dean
- Edward W. Felten
- Dan S. Wallach
- Dirk Balfanz
The introduction of Java applets has taken the World Wide Web by
storm. Java allows web creators to embellish their content with
arbitrary programs which execute in the web browser, whether for
simple animations or complex front-ends to other services. We examined
the Java language and the Sun HotJava, Netscape Navigator, and Microsoft
Internet Explorer browsers which support it, and found a significant
number of flaws which compromise their security. These flaws arise
for several reasons, including implementation errors, unintended
interactions between browser features, differences between the Java
language and bytecode semantics, and weaknesses in the design of the
language and the bytecode format. On a deeper level, these flaws
arise because of weaknesses in the design methodology used in creating
Java and the browsers. In addition to the flaws, we discuss the
underlying tension between the openness desired by web application
writers and the security needs of their users, and we suggest how both
might be accommodated.
- Internet Beseiged: Countering Cyberspace Scofflaws, Dorothy E. Denning and Peter J. Denning, eds. ACM Press (New York, New York), October 1997, pp. 241-269.
- See Also
- Java Security: Web Browsers and Beyond. Drew Dean, Edward W. Felten, Dan S. Wallach, and Dirk Balfanz, Technical Report 566-97, Department of Computer Science, Princeton University, February 1997.
- Java Security: From HotJava to Netscape and
Beyond. Drew Dean, Edward W. Felten, and Dan S. Wallach.
Proceedings of 1996 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
(Oakland, California), May 1996.
- Security Flaws in the HotJava Web Browser. Drew Dean and Dan S. Wallach, Technical Report 501-95, Department of Computer Science, Princeton University, November 1995.