Accession Number : ADA195736

Title :   Rule Based Analysis of Computer Security.

Descriptive Note : Doctoral thesis,

Corporate Author : MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE LAB FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE

Personal Author(s) : Baldwin, Robert W

PDF Url : ADA195736

Report Date : Mar 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 96

Abstract : Computers are rarely as secure as they could be. Users are lax or inconsistent in the ways they configure a computer's protection system, and these user mistakes often lead to serious security holes. For example, a privileged user might accidentally make his login initialization file publicly writable and that mistake could allow ordinary users to acquire super-user privileges. This sort of operational security problem is not caused by software bugs. It can happen even if all the computer's trusted programs behave according to their specifications. Operational security problems arise from complex interactions between the pieces of a computer's protection system. This report describes a tool for improving the operational security of discretionary access control systems. The tool is a rule based system that knows about the behavior of the computer's software and the tricks used by attackers. The tool uses this knowledge to deduce the set of privileges directly or indirectly accessible to each user. Once the set of accessible privileges has been deduced, that set can be compared against a site specific access policy and any differences can be reported. Keywords: Expert systems; Prototypes. (KR)

Descriptors :   *DATA PROCESSING SECURITY, *SYSTEMS ANALYSIS, ACCESS, COMPUTER PROGRAMS, COMPUTERS, CONTROL SYSTEMS, INTERACTIONS, POLICIES, PROTECTION, SECURITY, SITES

Subject Categories : Computer Systems Management and Standards

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE