As a result of studies of the security characteristics of selected large operating systems, it has become increasingly evident that any complex operating system requires testing and evaluation in order to validate the functional characteristics of the system and verify claims of improved security safeguards. Furthermore, over the next decade, it is likely that new systems will be subject to continuous testing and evaluation in much the same fashion, and for the same purposes, as are existing systems. As yet, the techniques employed in determining the security characteristics of system software are presently quite primitive, based primarily upon the notion of penetration testing--manually examining system source materials for security vulnerabilities. This suggests the development and refinement of tools and techniques of operating system security analysis. Some of the more desirable characteristics of such tools are explored in this document, and several example tools are described. 25 pp. Ref.
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