2007-03-29 Security Link Of The Day
By alecm on Mar 28, 2007
I have been working on an architecture for multilevel mail in Trusted Extensions in which mail can be delivered to labeled zones that are only in the ready state (mounted but not running). This would reduce the overhead of the current polyinstantiation approach in which an instance of sendmail is running in each zone.
For those unfamiliar with "trusted platforms", their core concept of "labelling" is to mark each file, directory, object, process or person on a machine with both a "compartment" (eg: finance, IT, payroll, human-resources) and some sort of "sensitivity" (eg: unclassified, confidential, secret); the trusted functionality permits "label-aware" applications to enforce need-to-know information handling rules.
That may sound outre or faintly military ("top secret") but there are dozens of possibilities for systems where you can keep programs aloof from each other, or from the data which they are processing.
Consider a webserver with one Internet-facing network interface, and another network interface attached to your credit-card database. Wouldn't it be nice to be assured that no data can pass from your credit-card data through to the Internet without being specially filtered, brokered and sanity checked? I find the idea rather appealing, I must admit.
Or consider the possibility of multilevel Instant Messenger - there would be no cut-and-paste between internal IM and external AIM, Yahoo or Skype; that really gets some finance people (eg: the sort who deal with traders) rather excited...