15.1 Java Platform and Need for Security

The JVM instruction set has very little ability to interface with your computer system. There are no instructions to read files, connect to sockets, or use system resources other than memory and the CPU. While that's a very safe way to live, it's not a very interesting one, since people who use Java programs want to do things like save their work, print it out, get information over the network, and so on. These capabilities are exposed to programs running on the JVM through a set of application programming interfaces, collectively called the Java platform.

To enable the platform, the JVM is extended though use of native methods, methods written in the native language of the computer instead of in bytecodes. Because they are implemented in native code, native methods have the ability to do just about anything on your computer. Therefore, access to native methods must be controlled, and the controls must not be able to be bypassed.

The verification process allows the JVM to make certain promises about code that is executed. Chapter 6 discusses the verification algorithm. In the rest of this chapter, we see how the algorithm prevents applets from bypassing the security constraints of the system.

Programming for the Java Virtual Machine
Programming for the Javaв„ў Virtual Machine
ISBN: 0201309726
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 1998
Pages: 158
Authors: Joshua Engel

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