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Extensible Security Architectures for Java

DAN S. WALLACH
Princeton University
DIRK BALFANZ
Princeton University
DREW DEAN
Princeton University
EDWARD W. FELTEN
Princeton University

Abstract:

Mobile code technologies such as Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX generally limit all programs to a single restrictive security policy. However, software-based protection can allow for more extensible security models, with potentially significant performance improvements over traditional hardware-based solutions. An extensible security system should be able to protect subsystems and implement policies that are created after the initial system is shipped. We describe and analyze three implementation strategies for interposing such security policies in software-based security systems. Implementations exist for all three strategies: several vendors have adapted capabilities to Java, Netscape and Microsoft have extensions to Java's stack introspection, and we built a name space management system as an add-on to Microsoft Internet Explorer. Theoretically, all these systems are equivalently secure, but many practical issues and implementation details favor some aspects of each system.


This paper will appear in the 16th Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, October 1997, Saint-Malo, France.



 

Dan Wallach
7/26/1997