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Java Security by Scott Oaks

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Chapter 2. Java Language Security

The first components of the Java sandbox that we will examine are those components that are built into the Java language itself. These components primarily protect memory resources on the user’s machine, although they have some benefit to the Java API as well. Hence, they are primarily concerned with guaranteeing the integrity of the memory of the machine that is hosting a program: in a nutshell, the security features within the Java language want to ensure that a program will be unable to discern or modify sensitive information that may reside in the memory of a user’s machine. In terms of applets, these protections also mean that applets will be unable to determine information about each other; each applet is given, in essence, its own memory space in which to operate.

In this chapter, we’ll look at the features of the Java language that provide this type of security. We’ll also look at how these features are enforced, including a look at Java’s bytecode verifier. With a few exceptions, the information in this chapter is largely informational; because the features we are going to discuss are immutable within the Java language, there are fewer programming considerations than we’ll find in later chapters. However, the information we’ll present here is crucial in understanding the entire Java security story; it is very helpful in ensuring that your Java environment is secure and in assessing the security risks that Java deployment might pose. The ...

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