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May 5, 1998

An In-Depth Look at Java Security

Sebastopol, CA--Sun's claim that Java is a secure programming environment is one of the most hotly debated aspects of Java. In spite of intense discussion, many Java programmers are mystified by what Java's default security policies are, and how to create and implement their own policies. "Java Security", a new release by O'Reilly, explores Java security for Java programmers clearly and concisely.

"Java's security model is, from a programming perspective, a lot more flexible than many people realize" says author Scott Oaks. In Java 1.1, the security policy was controlled by the author of the Java-enabled browser or of the stand-alone Java application. In 1.2, the security policy is under control of the end-user or administrator., so it can be configured to suit the needs of the user.

In "Java Security", Oaks shows how to use Java's facilities for signing classes or implementing your own signature facility. He also teaches, step-by-step, how to write a class loader that recognizes signed classes, verifies the signature, and cooperates with a security manager to grant additional privileges. He addresses the problem of managing cryptographic keys and provides solutions that implement your own key management systems.

"Java Security" includes detailed coverage of:

  • security managers
  • class loaders
  • the access controller
  • the Java security package
  • message digests, certificates, and digital signatures
  • the differences between version 1.1 and 1.2

"Java Security" is an essential book for everyone using Java real-world software. Serious Java programmers deploying software written in Java must know how to grant classes the privileges they need, without granting privileges to untrusted classes. They must know how to protect their systems from intrusion and corruption. Java provides the tools; this book helps the programmer master those tools.

About the Author

Scott Oaks is a lead tactical engineer at Sun Microsystems, where he has worked since 1987. While at Sun, he has specialized in many disparate technologies, from the SunOS kernel to network programming and RPCs to the X Window System to threading. Since early 1995, he has been primarily focused of Java and bringing Java technology to end users; he writes a monthly column on Java solutions for The Java Report. Around the Internet, Scott is best known as the author of olvwm, the OPEN LOOK window manager.

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Java Security
By Scott Oaks
1st Edition May 1998 (US)
450 pages (est.), 1-56592-403-7, $32.95 (US$)
java.oreilly.com

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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