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Logic in Access Control (Tutorial Notes)

Summary: Logic in Access Control
(Tutorial Notes)
Mart´in Abadi
Microsoft Research
University of California, Santa Cruz
Abstract. Access control is central to security in computer systems. Over the
years, there have been many efforts to explain and to improve access control,
sometimes with logical ideas and tools. This paper is a partial survey and dis-
cussion of the role of logic in access control. It considers logical foundations
for access control and their applications, in particular in languages for security
policies. It focuses on some specific logics and their properties. It is intended
as a written counterpart to a tutorial given at the 2009 International School on
Foundations of Security Analysis and Design.
1 Introduction
Access control consists in deciding whether the agent that issues a request should be
trusted on this request. For example, the agent may be a process running on behalf of
a user, and the request may be a command to read a particular file. In this example,
the access control machinery would be charged with deciding whether the read should
be permitted. This authorization decision may, in the simplest case, rely on consulting


Source: Abadi, Martín - Department of Computer Science, University of California at Santa Cruz


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences