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Enforcing Secure Object Initialization in Java

Laurent Hubert 1, * Thomas Jensen 1 Vincent Monfort 1 David Pichardie 1 
* Corresponding author
1 CELTIQUE - Software certification with semantic analysis
Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , IRISA-D4 - LANGAGE ET GÉNIE LOGICIEL
Abstract : Sun and the CERT recommend for secure Java development to not allow partially initialized objects to be accessed. The CERT considers the severity of the risks taken by not following this recommendation as high. The solution currently used to enforce object initialization is to implement a coding pattern proposed by Sun, which is not formally checked. We propose a modular type system to formally specify the initialization policy of libraries or programs and a type checker to statically check at load time that all loaded classes respect the policy. This allows to prove the absence of bugs which have allowed some famous privilege escalations in Java. Our experimental results show that our safe default policy allows to prove 91% of classes of java.lang, and safe without any annotation and by adding 57 simple annotations we proved all classes but four safe. The type system and its soundness theorem have been formalized and machine checked using Coq.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 19, 2010 - 2:11:05 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 3:50:41 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, October 22, 2010 - 4:09:27 PM


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  • HAL Id : inria-00503953, version 1
  • ARXIV : 1007.3133


Laurent Hubert, Thomas Jensen, Vincent Monfort, David Pichardie. Enforcing Secure Object Initialization in Java. 15th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS), 2010, Athènes, Greece. pp.101-115. ⟨inria-00503953⟩



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