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File System Security: Secure Network Data Sharing for NT and Unix

Bridget Allison, Rob Hawley, Andrea Borr, Mark Muhlestein, and Dave Hitz, Network Appliance


Sharing network data between UNIX and NT systems is becoming increasingly important as NT moves into areas previously serviced entirely by UNIX. One difficulty in sharing data between UNIX and NT is that their file system security models are quite different. NT file servers use access control lists (ACLs) that allow permissions to be specified for an arbitrary number of users and groups, while UNIX NFS servers use traditional UNIX permissions that provide control only for owner, group, and other. This paper describes a merged model in which a single file system can contain both files with NT-style ACLs and files with UNIX-style permissions. For native file service requests (NFS requests to UNIX-style files and NT requests to NT-style files) the security model exactly matches a UNIX or NT fileserver. For non-native requests, heuristics allow a reasonable level of access without compromising the security guarantees of the native model.
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Last changed: 14 Aug 1998 efc
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