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A Domain and Type Enforcement UNIX Prototype

Lee Badger
Daniel F. Sterne
David L. Sherman
Kenneth M. Walker
Sheila A. Haghighat

Trusted Information Systems, Inc.
3060 Washington Road
Glenwood, Maryland 21738


UNIX system security today often relies on correct operation of numerous privileged subsystems and careful attention by expert system administrators. In the context of global and possibly hostile networks, these traditional UNIX weaknesses raise a legitimate question about whether UNIX systems are appropriate platforms for processing and safeguarding important information resources. Domain and Type Enforcement (DTE) is an access control technology for partitioning host operating systems such as UNIX into access control domains. Such partitioning has promise both to enforce organizational security policies that protect special classes of information and to generically strengthen operating systems against penetration attacks. This paper reviews the primary DTE concepts, discusses their application to IP networks and NFS, and then describes the design and implementation of a DTE UNIX prototype system.

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