The purpose of these essays is to present some of the material thatis the basis of security in computer systems. An attempt has been made toinclude examples in order to make the difficulty of many of the conceptsapparent. It is all too easy to state glibly that a system is required toinclude a reference monitor, or that controls on covert channels will beenforced, or that the network will be secure against unauthorisedobservation of traffic, or a myriad of other requirements. Usually, suchthings imply a major development issue, because always the devil hides inthe details.No attempt has been made to include everything. Notable missingareas are security protocols
, database security
, the least privilegeprinciple
, modern work on cryptography and cryptographic algorithms
,public key cryptosystems
and the recent work on the compositionproblem
. There are many other subjects that might have been covered,but it is felt that these essays provide sufficient background so that peoplewho are developing an interest in computer security can appreciate manyof the follow-on issues that are the focus of present research activity.These essays were originally conceived as some handouts to acourse in computer security that was started in 1993 in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. Theseessays were drawn from the handouts for the spring of 1995.In all cases an attempt has been made to include references tooriginal material. However, much of this material is not easily accessible.In these cases rather more detail is included that might be otherwisestrictly necessary.Great thanks must go to those authors who developed the materialupon which the essays are based. Several hundred students also meritthanks. Without their attention and probing questions the essays wouldcontain many more absurdities and errors than they still do.
Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography, 2
ed., Wiley, 1996.
S. Castano, M.G. Fugini, G. Martella, P. Samarati, Database Security,Addison-Wesley, 1995.
See for example Aris Zakinthinos & E. Stewart Lee, "A Least Privilege Mechanismfor User Processes"
Fifth International Working Conference on DependableComputing for Critical Applications
, IFIP Working Group 10.4 on DependableComputing and Fault-Tolerance, September 1995, pp. 56-67.
See citation 1.
See citation 1.
Aris Zakinthinos & E. Stewart Lee, "Composing Secure Systems that haveEmergent Properties",
11th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Workshop
,IEEE Computer Society, June 1998. A series of papers by these authors, of whichthis is the latest, discuss the problem.