[javaee-spec users] [jsr342-experts] Re: security manager requirements in Java EE

From: Jeff Genender <>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 22:18:39 -0800

Well... I think most folks here do that here, Bill... but also lets be reasonable...

The team here are all good people and contribute. Lazy consensus is a standard way of doing things on internet lists. I wouldn't take it so personally.

On Mar 8, 2012, at 5:40 PM, Bill Shannon wrote:

> For people who only want to watch, we have the "users" mailing list.
> I'm expecting people on the expert group to actively declare their
> position. A simple "+1" is fine.
> Jeff Genender wrote on 03/08/2012 04:11 PM:
>> Silence is what is called lazy consensus ;-)
>> Jeff
>> On Mar 8, 2012, at 4:01 PM, Bill Shannon wrote:
>>> It's been almost a month and we've gotten very little feedback on the
>>> questions I asked below. I hope this isn't an indication that this
>>> expert group has little interest in security issues. :-(
>>> Given this lack of feedback, we're assuming *all* of you support *all*
>>> of the proposals below. We'll be moving forward accordingly.
>>> Thanks.
>>> Bill Shannon wrote on 02/10/2012 02:01 PM:
>>>> Security has always been a key part of the Java EE platform.
>>>> From the beginning we defined the Java security permissions
>>>> that an application should expect to have, and we expected
>>>> that application servers would want to control what permissions
>>>> applications should have. Several releases ago we clarified
>>>> the requirements so that application servers may run without a
>>>> security manager. This was commonly used in development environments,
>>>> and in non-Java EE application servers such as Tomcat.
>>>> Unfortunately, what we failed to do was to make it clear that
>>>> Java EE applications servers were also required to be able to
>>>> run *with* a security manager, and to be able to enforce Java
>>>> security permissions.
>>>> ***** Unless there are objections, we intend to make this
>>>> ***** requirement explicit in the EE 7 spec.
>>>> One of the reasons this issue comes up is that some library and
>>>> framework developers seem to assume that they can do anything
>>>> they want with any Java API. Users then complain when these
>>>> libraries or frameworks don't work in an application server that
>>>> uses a security manager.
>>>> A degenerate way that an application server could meet the requirement
>>>> to be able to run with a security manager would be to simply grant
>>>> all applications all permissions all the time. Obviously that
>>>> wouldn't address the core problem. Thus, we believe we also need
>>>> a clear requirement that the application server be able to
>>>> *restrict* the set of permissions granted to an application.
>>>> Defining a requirement in this area is a bit tricky. While it
>>>> might seem attractive to require that an application server be
>>>> able to run applications with *only* the minimum permissions
>>>> defined in the spec, it's possible that there could be product
>>>> specific (non-standard) permissions that are needed. Still,
>>>> it seems like it would be good to define some boundaries here.
>>>> ***** Would you support a requirement to be able to run
>>>> ***** applications with a restricted set of permissions?
>>>> We think it's especially likely that a Java EE cloud product
>>>> will use a security manager to maintain control over the
>>>> operational environment. Remember, our target is PaaS, not
>>>> Middleware over IaaS:
>>>> In a true PaaS environment, application permissions are likely
>>>> to be restricted to only what's needed. In such an environment,
>>>> it may be useful to know if the application needs any permissions
>>>> beyond the minimum that the platform spec guarantees.
>>>> Something we've been considering for quite some time is to provide
>>>> a way for an application to include a list of these additional
>>>> permissions it needs. The platform implementation could then
>>>> evaluate these permissions and ensure that the application is
>>>> granted what it needs, or reject deployment of the application.
>>>> ***** Would you support including such a capability in Java EE?
>>>> Other than the first item above, we're not sure how many of these
>>>> items we can address for EE 7, but we wanted to see if there was
>>>> support in principle for these items before we moved forward.
>>>> Let us know what you think.