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Java Security by Scott Oaks

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Appendix A. Security Tools

In this appendix, we’ll discuss the tools that come with the JDK that allow developers, end users, and system administrators to deal with the security aspects of the Java platform. These tools are only available in Java 1.2,[41] since they primarily deal with operations that require the support of 1.2.[42] As Java’s security model advances, these tools have become primary interfaces to establishing a secure sandbox for Java applications.

To a lesser extent, these tools have become an interface for establishing a secure sandbox for Java applets as well. However, as we’ve seen, not all the security features of the Java platform have yet been uniformly adopted by all browsers. In part, it is a problem with logistics. As this book went to press, Java 1.2 was still a new release. Clearly it will take some time before these new features can be propagated to browsers. Part of the problem, though, lies in the fact that Java applications (and Java browsers) ultimately decide upon their own security features.

This last fact is true of your own applications as well: you can certainly use the keytool utility that comes with the JDK to manage your public key/private key databases. But if it is appropriate, you may want to replace (or at least supplement) the keytool with your own key management tool that handles some of the situations we discussed in Chapter 11.

The keytool

In Chapter 11 we discussed the KeyStore class, which provides an interface to a key management ...

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