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Flexibility in Access Decisions

Object managers consult the Flask security server to obtain access decisions based on a pair of labels and an object class. The label pair is usually the label of a subject and the label of an object, but some access decisions may control relationships among object pairs. Each object class has a set of associated permissions. These permission sets are represented by a bitmap called an access vector. Flask defines a distinct permission for each service, and when a service accesses multiple objects, Flask defines a separate permission to control access to each object. For example, when a file is unlinked, Flask checks remove_name permission to the directory and unlink permission to the file.

The use of object classes in access requests allows distinct permission sets to be defined for each kind of object based on the particular services that are supported by the object. It also allows the security policy to make distinctions based on the kind of object, so that access to a device special file can be distinguished from access to a regular file and access to a raw IP socket can be distinguished from access to a UDP or TCP socket.


next up previous contents
Next: Support for Policy Changes Up: Overview Previous: Flexibility in Labeling Decisions   Contents