Secure Contexts for Confidential Data

Abstract

Information flow security in a mutlilevel system aims at guaranteeing that no high level information is revealed to low level users, even in the presence of any possible malicious process. This requirement could be too demanding when some knowledge about the environment (context) in which the process is going to run is available. To deal with these situations we introduce the notion of secure contexts for a class of processes. This notion is parametric with respect to both the observation equivalence and the operation used to characterize the low level behavior of a process. We mainly analyze the cases of bisimulation and trace equivalence. We describe how to build secure contexts in these cases and we show that two well-known security properties, named BNDC and NDC, are just special instances of our general notion.

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