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Security achieved

The user never has access to his private keys, and in fact needs permission to authenticate using the private keys. This mechanism can be expanded to allow different private keys for different uses, although we do not yet support that. One use of such a facility is to allow the user to perform personal chores, such as banking with one key and to perform business functions with another key.

Only the specified users can connect to the service, since they must be authorized. This authorization is independent of a service; if the service is designated as an authenticated and authorized service, there is nothing the service can do (either deliberately or accidentally) to evade this mechanisms. The process may avoid actually setting the user ID, but the mechanism pairs user authentication with the connection, so that it can only be used by the process which accepts that connection and it is necessary to authenticate before reading or writing to the connection.

Because the authorization and authentication of user services are totally declarative, it is possible to automatically analyze them. (In contrast, this is not possible in general, due to decidability problems, when these functions are performed by application code.) We are planning on extending our previous work in DAC and MAC access controls to automatically analyze authorization properties across computer systems [36,35,37].

Manigandan Radhakrishnan 2008-05-13