Role-Based Access Control Consistency Validation

Modern enterprise systems support Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), allowing for flexible access control on sensitive operations. Although these systems specify RBAC based on privileged operations, in many cases the deployer actually intends to control access to privileged data. This paper presents a theoretical foundation for correlating an operation-based RBAC policy with a data-based RBAC policy. Relying on a location-consistency property, this paper shows how to infer whether an operation-based policy is equivalent to any data-based RBAC policy.

We have built a static analysis tool for J2EE called Static Analysis for Validation of Enterprise Security (SAVES). Relying on interprocedural pointer analysis and dataflow analysis, SAVES analyzes J2EE bytecode to determine if the associated RBAC policy is location-consistent, and reports potential security flaws where location-consistency does not hold. The experimental results obtained by using SAVES on a number of production-level J2EE codes have identifed several security flaws with no false positive reports.

By: Paolina Centonze; Gleb Naumovich; Stephen J. Fink; Marco Pistoia

Published in: RC23876 in 2006


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