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Technology Foundations for Computational Evaluation of Software Security Attributes

December 2006 Technical Report
Gwendolyn H. Walton, Thomas A. Longstaff, Richard C. Linger (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

In this 2006 report, the authors describe foundations for computational security attributes technology.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number


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In the current state of practice, analysis of the security attributes of software systems is typically carried out through subjective evaluations by security experts who accumulate system knowledge in bits and pieces from architectures, specifications, designs, code, and tests. In contrast, this report describes foundations for a new computational security attributes (CSA) technology. This innovative approach provides precise computational methods for defining and analyzing security attributes based solely on the data and transformations of data found within programs. CSA permits security attributes to be evaluated through automatable analysis of the functional behavior of programs. The technology can support specification of security attributes of systems before they are built; specification and evaluation of security attributes of acquired software; verification of the as-built security attributes of systems; and real-time evaluation of security attributes during system operation.