17th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference
December 10-14, 2001
New Orleans, Louisiana

Information Flow Analysis of Component-Structured Applications

Peter Herrmann
University of Dortmund

Software component technology facilitates the cost-effective development of specialized applications. Nevertheless, due to the high number of principals involved in a component-structured system, it introduces special security problems which have to be tackled by a thorough security analysis. In particular, the diversity and complexity of information flows between components hold the danger of leaking information. Since information flow analysis, however, tends to be expensive and error-prone, we apply our object-oriented security analysis and modeling approach. It employs UML-based object-oriented modeling techniques and graph rewriting in order to make the analysis easier and to assure its quality even for large systems. Information flow is modeled based on Myers' and Liskov's decentralized label model combining label-based read access policy models and declassification of information with static analysis. We report on the principles of information flow analysis of component-based systems, clarify its application by means of an example, and outline the corresponding tool-support.

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