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From Martin Zaun <Martin.Z...@Sun.COM>
Subject Re: Installing a SecurityManager by default when the server boots
Date Thu, 08 Nov 2007 21:31:36 GMT

Dag H. Wanvik wrote:
> 
> In the final analysis it comes down to what annoys the Derby user
> more, a potentially unsafe system or the hassle of dealing with
> security. No free lunch...

An aggravating factor on the "hassle" is, in my experience, the
insufficient tools available for debugging security issues in general
and writing/adjusting policy files in particular:

- Often, the Java security runtime swallows exceptions (except for
   grave syntax errors in policy files) silently denying permissions
   then.

- The user really has to know about the 'java.security.debug' property
   and its verbose values (even then, one still gets swamped by a huge
   amount of output).

- Other people/projects have come up with some security debug/helper
   classes, which, when run with, dynamically approve all permission
   requests and generate a "narrow" policy file on the fly reflecting
   just the requested grants, e.g.
     http://java.sun.com/products/jini/2.1/doc/api/com/sun/jini/tool/DebugDynamicPolicyProvider.html
     http://archives.java.sun.com/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9907&L=rmi-users&P=21357

Without better tools, I feel that the Java security system is for
experts only and I wonder how many run without just for that reason.

My $0.02,
Martin

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