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Conformance Checking of Access Control Policies Specified in XACML



Chung Tong Hu, Evan Martin, Tao Xie


Access control is one of the most fundamental and widely used security mechanisms. Access control mechanisms control which principals such as users or processes have access to which resources in a system. To facilitate managing and maintaining access control, access control policies are increasingly written in specification languages such as XACML. The specification of access control policies itself is often a challenging problem. Furthermore, XACML is intentionally designed to be generic: it provides the freedom in describing access control policies, which are well-known or invented ones. But the flexibility and expressiveness provided by XACML come at the cost of complexity, verbosity, and lack of desirable-property enforcement. Often common properties for specific access control policies may not be satisfied when these policies are specified in XACML, causing the discrepancy between what the policy authors intend to specify and what the actually specified XACML policies reflect. In this position paper, we propose an approach for conducting conformance checking of access control policies specified in XACML based on existing verification and testing tools for XACML policies.
Conference Title
First IEEE International Workshop on Security in Software Engineering (IWSSE)


access control, access control policy, grid computing, trust domain
Created July 24, 2007, Updated February 19, 2017