Security Risks in Java-based Mobile Code Systems

Abstract

Java is the predominant language for mobile agent systems, both for implementing mobile agent execution environments and for writing mobile agent applications. This is due to inherent support for code mobility by means of dynamic class loading and separable class name spaces, as well as a number of security properties, such as language safety and access control by means of stack introspection. However, serious questions must be raised whether Java is actually up to the task of providing a secure execution environment for mobile agents. At the time of writing, it has neither resource control nor proper application separation. In this article we take an in-depth look at Java as a foundation for secure mobile agent systems.