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From Neil Macneale <mac4-harm...@theory.org>
Subject Security
Date Fri, 01 Jul 2005 06:14:52 GMT

Hello All-

I've been lurking for awhile and I think the significant discussion 
about security in the Harmony JVM has been missing. Considering such 
ideas as hot compiling code and making it executable sets off big alarm 
bells in my head.

One huge pitfall in many software projects is putting off security until 
later. Auditing of code becomes much more difficult as the code base 
become large. Furthermore, as code grows old, people forget how it works.

Somehow the java gods have convinced the world that java is secure. But 
that all relies on a the JVM executing as documented and with no 
security holes of it's own. The number of ways in which a JVM could open 
security vulnerabilities in a system is enormous, and this is amplified 
by the fact that the language it self has a security model which is 
fairly complex.

One of the reasons I am in favor of implementing as much of the JVM in 
Java is that I think it is easier to write secure code in Java than in 
C/C++. A small core in C/C++ would be reasonable, but from a reviewers 
standpoint it is more difficult to guarantee that a piece of C code is 
secure. Generally speaking, of course.

I'd be happy to read people's code and look for bugs, and I may end up 
doing this just for yucks. Are other people concerned about this? 
Thoughts, comments?

Cheers,
Neil

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