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A Multilevel Security Model for a Distributed Object-Oriented System

Black, Stewart; Varadharajan, Vijay

HPL-90-74

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Abstract: It often suggested that distributed computing will be the major trend in computer systems during the next decade. However, distributed systems are vulnerable to a number of security attacks. In this paper we look at the security problems of object-based distributed systems, and propose a model based on labeling for multilevel security. The purpose of this model is to preserve the information flow security in a distributed object-oriented system. We consider the basic concepts of the object paradigm, and also the security threats to such systems. We postulate various modeling possibilities, and produce a specific set of security properties which describe a multilevel secure object model. This particular model should not be considered as a panacea, but rather should demonstrate how the various modeling decisions are reflected in an actual model. We conclude with a discussion of possible avenues of future research.

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