[Security_sig] Some notes from the CGL security discussion

Gé Weijers Ge.Weijers at Sun.COM
Wed Aug 4 16:59:20 PDT 2004


Here's what I picked up from the DCL security assumption discussion of 
last week:

1) We will limit ourselves to application and database servers for now. 
The edge is a more complicated issue.

2) In current practice administrators have full access to the system 
(classical root access). How much we want to buck that trend remains to 
be determined.

3) The following features are needed:

- Privilege Separation, the splitting up of all-or-nothing root 
privileges into individual privileges that can be assigned separately. 
This helps privilege minimization.

- Roles, which allow the (temporary) assignment of privileges to users.

- Installation and especially configuration of software without 
requiring root privileges

- Immediate revocation of privileges

4) Developers have shell access to systems, and therefor shell access is 
much more of an issue than for CGL. DCL needs some resistance against 
mistakes. We do not assume though that users are malicious or very 
sophisticated technically.

5) A question for the troops: do clustered systems require anything 
special security-wise (e.g. a separate network for cluster messages).

6) the security of the application/database server environments are 
mostly determined by their environment. Good administration practice of 
disabling unneeded services and using SSH in stead of Telnet are still 

These assumptions make the analysis fairly simple, along the lines of 
the COTS protection profile. Individual DCL systems (edge excluded) are 
not required to be very resistant to determined attack. I'd like to 
verify that that's true before I start work on this in earnest.


Gé Weijers                          mailto:ge.weijers at sun.com
Installation and Linux Group        Tel: (877)240-7611 x69536
Sun Microsystems, Inc.              Fax: (877)240-7611
=== Expressed opinions are my own, I do not speak for Sun ===

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