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  1. JDK
  2. JDK-8203316

Provide a mechanism to make system's security manager immutable

    Details

    • Type: CSR
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: P2
    • Resolution: Approved
    • Fix Version/s: 12
    • Component/s: security-libs
    • Labels:
      None
    • Subcomponent:
    • Compatibility Kind:
      behavioral
    • Compatibility Risk:
      low
    • Compatibility Risk Description:
      Hide
      The recent SecurityManager survey revealed that some applications install a SecurityManager at runtime with System.setSecurityManager. These applications will continue to work as usual at runtime as long as the "java.security.manager" system property is not set to "disallow". There should also be an extremely small risk that these new tokens would clash with a custom SecurityManager class named "disallow" or "allow" as classes that don't start with a capital letter are rare and discouraged.
      Show
      The recent SecurityManager survey revealed that some applications install a SecurityManager at runtime with System.setSecurityManager. These applications will continue to work as usual at runtime as long as the "java.security.manager" system property is not set to "disallow". There should also be an extremely small risk that these new tokens would clash with a custom SecurityManager class named "disallow" or "allow" as classes that don't start with a capital letter are rare and discouraged.
    • Interface Kind:
      Java API, System or security property
    • Scope:
      SE

      Description

      Summary

      A mechanism to prevent a SecurityManager from being enabled at runtime in order to allow for performance optimizations.

      Problem

      A SecurityManager can be installed at startup with the java.security.manager system property, or later, at runtime by calling the setSecurityManager method of java.lang.System. This latter approach can incur runtime overhead even for applications that do not install a SecurityManager. These applications ideally should not have to incur the cost of supporting a SecurityManager if it is not used. If we knew at startup that a SecurityManager was not going to be installed, we could optimize the code and increase performance for applications that do not use a SecurityManager.

      Solution

      The solution consists of 2 main changes:

      1. Introduce specification changes that optionally prevent the installation of a SecurityManager at runtime, via the setSecurityManager method of java.lang.System.
      2. Add new options to the java.security.manager system property to toggle this behavior in the JDK implementation. Note that the java.security.manager is an implementation-specific property, even though it starts with java.

      Specification

      A zip file containing the javadoc for SecurityManager and System is also attached.

      1. The setSecurityManager method of java.lang.System has been modified to optionally throw an UnsupportedOperationException and an implNote has been added to document its behavior when the java.security.manager system property is set to "disallow":
           /**
      -     * Sets the System security.
      +     * Sets the system-wide security manager.
            *
            * If there is a security manager already installed, this method first
            * calls the security manager's {@code checkPermission} method
      @@ -306,27 +317,46 @@
            * security manager has been established, then no action is taken and
            * the method simply returns.
            *
      -     * @param      s   the security manager.
      -     * @throws     SecurityException  if the security manager has already
      -     *             been set and its {@code checkPermission} method
      -     *             doesn't allow it to be replaced.
      +     * @implNote In the JDK implementation, if the Java virtual machine is
      +     * started with the system property {@code java.security.manager} set to
      +     * the special token "{@code disallow}" then the {@code setSecurityManager}
      +     * method cannot be used to set a security manager.
      +     *
      +     * @param  sm the security manager or {@code null}
      +     * @throws SecurityException
      +     *         if the security manager has already been set and its {@code
      +     *         checkPermission} method doesn't allow it to be replaced
      +     * @throws UnsupportedOperationException
      +     *         if {@code sm} is non-null and a security manager is not allowed
      +     *         to be set dynamically

      2. The existing JDK-specific java.security.manager system property has been enhanced to support two new tokens, "disallow" and "allow". Additional text has been added to the class description of the SecurityManager class to describe the syntax of the java.security.manager system property (which had never been previously described in the javadocs) and the behavior of these new tokens:

      - * The current security manager is set by the
      - * <code>setSecurityManager</code> method in class
      - * <code>System</code>. The current security manager is obtained
      - * by the <code>getSecurityManager</code> method.
      + * Environments using a security manager will typically set the security
      + * manager at startup. In the JDK implementation, this is done by setting
      + * the system property {@code java.security.manager} on the command line to
      + * the class name of the security manager. It can also be set to the empty
      + * String ("") or the special token "{@code default}" to use the
      + * default {@code java.lang.SecurityManager}. If a class name is specified,
      + * it must be {@code java.lang.SecurityManager} or a public subclass and have
      + * a public no-arg constructor. The class is loaded by the
      + * {@linkplain ClassLoader#getSystemClassLoader() built-in system class loader}
      + * if it is not {@code java.lang.SecurityManager}. If the
      + * {@code java.security.manager} system property is not set, the default value
      + * is {@code null}, which means a security manager will not be set at startup.
      + * <p>
      + * The Java run-time may also allow, but is not required to allow, the security
      + * manager to be set dynamically by invoking the
      + * {@link System#setSecurityManager(SecurityManager) setSecurityManager} method.
      + * In the JDK implementation, if the Java virtual machine is started with
      + * the {@code java.security.manager} system property set to the special token
      + * "{@code disallow}" then a security manager will not be set at startup and
      + * cannot be set dynamically (the
      + * {@link System#setSecurityManager(SecurityManager) setSecurityManager}
      + * method will throw an {@code UnsupportedOperationException}). If the
      + * {@code java.security.manager} system property is not set or is set to the
      + * special token "{@code allow}", then a security manager will not be set at
      + * startup but can be set dynamically. Finally, if the
      + * {@code java.security.manager} system property is set to the class name of
      + * the security manager, or to the empty String ("") or the special token
      + * "{@code default}", then a security manager is set at startup (as described
      + * previously) and can also be subsequently replaced (or disabled) dynamically
      + * (subject to the policy of the currently installed security manager). The
      + * following table illustrates the behavior of the JDK implementation for the
      + * different settings of the {@code java.security.manager} system property:
      + * <table class="striped">
      + * <caption style="display:none">property value,
      + *  the SecurityManager set at startup,
      + *  can dynamically set a SecurityManager
      + * </caption>
      + * <thead>
      + * <tr>
      + * <th scope="col">Property Value</th>
      + * <th scope="col">The SecurityManager set at startup</th>
      + * <th scope="col">System.setSecurityManager run-time behavior</th>
      + * </tr>
      + * </thead>
      + * <tbody>
      + *
      + * <tr>
      + *   <th scope="row">null</th>
      + *   <td>None</td>
      + *   <td>Success or throws {@code SecurityException} if not permitted by
      + * the currently installed security manager</td>
      + * </tr>
      + *
      + * <tr>
      + *   <th scope="row">empty String ("")</th>
      + *   <td>{@code java.lang.SecurityManager}</td>
      + *   <td>Success or throws {@code SecurityException} if not permitted by
      + * the currently installed security manager</td>
      + * </tr>
      + *
      + * <tr>
      + *   <th scope="row">"default"</th>
      + *   <td>{@code java.lang.SecurityManager}</td>
      + *   <td>Success or throws {@code SecurityException} if not permitted by
      + * the currently installed security manager</td>
      + * </tr>
      + *
      + * <tr>
      + *   <th scope="row">"disallow"</th>
      + *   <td>None</td>
      + *   <td>Always throws {@code UnsupportedOperationException}</td>
      + * </tr>
      + *
      + * <tr>
      + *   <th scope="row">"allow"</th>
      + *   <td>None</td>
      + *   <td>Success or throws {@code SecurityException} if not permitted by
      + * the currently installed security manager</td>
      + * </tr>
      + *
      + * <tr>
      + *   <th scope="row">a class name</th>
      + *   <td>the named class</td>
      + *   <td>Success or throws {@code SecurityException} if not permitted by
      + * the currently installed security manager</td>
      + * </tr>
      + *
      + * </tbody>
      + * </table>
      + * <p> A future release of the JDK may change the default value of the
      + * {@code java.security.manager} system property to "{@code disallow}".
      + * <p>
      + * The current security manager is returned by the
      + * {@link System#getSecurityManager() getSecurityManager} method.

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              • Assignee:
                mullan Sean Mullan
                Reporter:
                mchung Mandy Chung
                Reviewed By:
                Alan Bateman, Mandy Chung
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                Dates

                • Created:
                  Updated:
                  Resolved: