Skip to main content

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

  • From: Ron Monzillo <ron.monzillo@...>
  • To: users@...
  • Subject: [javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs
  • Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2013 11:22:10 -0400

On 8/22/13 8:30 AM, Raymond Auge wrote:
Thank you Ron for your response.

Allow me to clarify further. And please if this is still not enough, just ask.


The JSP RI (which is the forked Jasper implementation) contains the following:

    public static final boolean IS_SECURITY_ENABLED =
        (System.getSecurityManager() != null);

While this seems to be innocuous enough what it really means is that no consumer of that impl can rely on the SecurityManager API.

My first reaction was to file a bug report: https://java.net/jira/browse/JSP-37

I also went to the original developers, the tomcat project developer list, and asked for their position on the matter. The discussion was quickly curtailed as "we don't support dynamic changes of the SecurityManager". Understandable, since at this point tomcat's Jasper is a "custom implementation" of the JSP spec.
Raymond,

I checked out your "Constants.IS_SECURITY_ENABLED", thread on the tomcat developers list.

the EE 7 spec only requires that every product support running with a security manager; it does not require that it be possible to dynamically change this characteristic (presumably after the product has completed its initialization). Also EE makes no requirement that a security manager (or its effect, i.e., permission checking) be enabled for some apps, while not for others. The security manager is a container feature, intended to
protect the container and os resources that the container process may have access to from code (typically applications) running within the container. There should be no expectation that applications that perform internal permission checks will be able to enable the SecurityManager of their hosting container. Moreover the security manager and permission requirements of EE 7 cannot be presumed to be satisfied by Non EE 7 compatible web containers (of which I think Tomcat would be an example).

iow, and imo, Tomcat's support for running with a SecurityManager exists independent of the EE 7
requirement to be able to do so, and Tomcat's internal reliance on its IS_SECURITY_ENABLED flag is a
Tomcat implementation detail.

that said, if an application depends on being able to perform SecurityManager based permission checks, it will require a hosting container in which the SecurityManager is enabled, and then I agree that the hosting
hosting container should not interfere with the application's ability to perform SecurityManager based permission checks according to the recommended use pattern.

    SecurityManager s = System.getSecurityManager();
    (if (s != null) {
        s.checkPermission(p);
    }

Also, If the application learns that the security manager is not enabled, it should not expect to be able to set a security manager for the container. It might choose to initialize itself with reduced functionality or to fail in its initialization. imv, the value of IS_SECURITY_ENABLED must be consistent with that of (System.getSeucirtyManager() != null) since the constant can have no effect on embedded permission checks in jvm provided classes like sockets and files...so it is likely that your app can also rely on this consistency.

fwiw, if your app needs to perform permission checks in an environment where you cannot rely on the security manager being enabled, then you might want to consider making your checks by calling some other access control api. Java also provides Policy.implies, or AccessController.checkPermission.

HTH,

Ron

Therefore, I had hoped that at the Java EE specification level someone may at least be inclined to offer a statement toward whether there is even grounds for making such a bug report.

So my goal here is simply to identify whether there is some precedent, charter of behaviour, set of rules, code of conduct, etc., by which the Java EE specifications and their RIs are obliged to NOT break the behaviours of the Java SE APIs upon which they are founded, even while not containing or omitting specifics in their language or wording.

It seems to me that the RIs developed within Java EE should not take liberties that custom implementations may afford to take since RIs tend to be, by their nature, more portable and representative of best practices.

I hope that clarifies things.

Sincerely,
- Ray


On Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM, Ron Monzillo <ron.monzillo@... <mailto:ron.monzillo@...>> wrote:

    On 8/21/13 11:31 AM, Raymond Auge wrote:
    Hello everyone,

    My name is Raymond Auge and this is my first email to the list.
    Hopefully I follow proper protocol. Please let me know if I have not.

    -----
    Sorry, my question may seem odd.

    I would like to get an official position statement on the
    handling of the SecurityManager/Policy APIs with respect to Java EE?

    I suppose I am asking:

    "Is it OK for Java EE specifications/implementations to make
    assumptions about the state of the SecurityManager/Policy without
    respecting changes in their runtime state?"
    If you think there is an issue with the specifications, it would
    help if you could provide a reference to the
    specification content.

    that said, a perhaps overly simplistic answer to your question, is
    that EE 7 requires that every EE product be able to run with a
    security manager enabled. So for example, it would not be
    appropriate for an implementation to assume that a security
    manager will not (or at least never) be enabled. For prior
    releases of EE, one might conclude otherwise.

    Regarding the runtime or installation specific state of access
    control Policy (as enforced by the Policy system) there is an
    expectation that the Policy implementation enforce the policy as
    configured for the installation, with the additional requirement
    that every EE product provide a means for applications to be
    granted some specific permissions identified in the EE specification.

    EE 7 also added a new facility by which applications may declare
    the permissions that they require.

    I'll stop there for now,

    Ron

--
    *Raymond Augé*
    <http://www.liferay.com/web/raymond.auge/profile> (@rotty3000)
    Senior Software Architect
    *Liferay, Inc.* <http://www.liferay.com> (@Liferay)





--
*Raymond Augé* <http://www.liferay.com/web/raymond.auge/profile> (@rotty3000)
Senior Software Architect
*Liferay, Inc.* <http://www.liferay.com> (@Liferay)




[javaee-spec users] Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Raymond Auge 08/21/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Ron Monzillo 08/21/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Raymond Auge 08/22/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Ron Monzillo 08/22/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Raymond Auge 08/22/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Ron Monzillo 08/22/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Raymond Auge 08/22/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Ron Monzillo 08/22/2013

[javaee-spec users] Re: Position on SecurityManager/Policy SE APIs

Raymond Auge 08/22/2013
 
 
Close
loading
Please Confirm
Close