In fact, if you want to access

Operating System Access Control


Security refers to providing a protection system to computer system resources such as CPU, memory, disk, software programs and most importantly data/information stored in the computer system. If a computer program is run by an unauthorized user, then he/she may cause severe damage to computer or data stored in it. So a computer system must be protected against unauthorized access, malicious access to system memory, viruses, worms etc. We're going to discuss following topics in this chapter.

  • Authentication
  • One Time passwords
  • Program Threats
  • System Threats
  • Computer Security Classifications

Authentication

Authentication refers to identifying each user of the system and associating the executing programs with those users. It is the responsibility of the Operating System to create a protection system which ensures that a user who is running a particular program is authentic. Operating Systems generally identifies/authenticates users using following three ways −

  • Username / Password − User need to enter a registered username and password with Operating system to login into the system.
  • User card/key − User need to punch card in card slot, or enter key generated by key generator in option provided by operating system to login into the system.
  • User attribute - fingerprint/ eye retina pattern/ signature − User need to pass his/her attribute via designated input device used by operating system to login into the system.

One Time passwords

One-time passwords provide additional security along with normal authentication. In One-Time Password system, a unique password is required every time user tries to login into the system. Once a one-time password is used, then it cannot be used again. One-time password are implemented in various ways.

  • Random numbers − Users are provided cards having numbers printed along with corresponding alphabets. System asks for numbers corresponding to few alphabets randomly chosen.
  • Secret key − User are provided a hardware device which can create a secret id mapped with user id. System asks for such secret id which is to be generated every time prior to login.
  • Network password − Some commercial applications send one-time passwords to user on registered mobile/ email which is required to be entered prior to login.

Program Threats

Operating system's processes and kernel do the designated task as instructed. If a user program made these process do malicious tasks, then it is known as Program Threats. One of the common example of program threat is a program installed in a computer which can store and send user credentials via network to some hacker. Following is the list of some well-known program threats.



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