Operating System Security

Operating System Security

Trent Jaeger
ISBN: 9781598292121 | PDF ISBN: 9781598292138
Copyright © 2009 | 218 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2009

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Operating systems provide the fundamental mechanisms for securing computer processing. Since the 1960s, operating systems designers have explored how to build "secure" operating systems - operating systems whose mechanisms protect the system against a motivated adversary. Recently, the importance of ensuring such security has become a mainstream issue for all operating systems. In this book, we examine past research that outlines the requirements for a secure operating system and research that implements example systems that aim for such requirements. For system designs that aimed to satisfy these requirements, we see that the complexity of software systems often results in implementation challenges that we are still exploring to this day. However, if a system design does not aim for achieving the secure operating system requirements, then its security features fail to protect the system in a myriad of ways. We also study systems that have been retrofit with secure operating system features after an initial deployment. In all cases, the conflict between function on one hand and security on the other leads to difficult choices and the potential for unwise compromises. From this book, we hope that systems designers and implementors will learn the requirements for operating systems that effectively enforce security and will better understand how to manage the balance between function and security.

Table of Contents

Access Control Fundamentals
Security in Ordinary Operating Systems
Verifiable Security Goals
Security Kernels
Securing Commercial Operating Systems
Case Study: Solaris Trusted Extensions
Case Study: Building a Secure Operating System for Linux
Secure Capability Systems
Secure Virtual Machine Systems
System Assurance

About the Author(s)

Trent Jaeger, The Pennsylvania State University
Trent Jaeger is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at The Pennsylvania State University and the Co-Director of the Systems and Internet Infrastructure Security Lab. He joined Penn State after working for IBM Research for nine years in operating systems and system security research groups. Trent's research interests include operating systems security, access control, and source code and policy analysis tools. He has published over 70 refereed research papers on these subjects. Trent has made a variety of contributions to open source systems security, particularly to the Linux Security Modules framework, the SELinux module and policy development, integrity measurement in Linux, and the Xen security architecture. He is active in the security research community, having been a member of the program committees of all the major security conferences,and the program chair of the ACM CCS Government and IndustryTrack and ACM SACMAT, as well as chairing several workshops. He is an associate editor with ACM TOIT and has been a guest editor of ACM TISSEC. Trent has an M.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in Computer Science and Engineering in 1993 and 1997, respectively.

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