Shill: A secure shell scripting language

Scott Moore, Christos Dimoulas, Dan King, Stephen Chong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Principle of Least Privilege suggests that software should be executed with no more authority than it requires to accomplish its task. Current security tools make it difficult to apply this principle: they either require significant modifications to applications or do not facilitate reasoning about combining untrustworthy components. We propose SHILL, a secure shell scripting language. SHILL scripts enable compositional reasoning about security through contracts that limit the effects of script execution, including the effects of programs invoked by the script. SHILL contracts are declarative security policies that act as documentation for consumers of SHILL scripts, and are enforced through a combination of language design and sandboxing. We have implemented a prototype of SHILL for FreeBSD and used it for several case studies including a grading script and a script to download, compile, and install software. Our experience indicates that SHILL is a practical and useful system security tool, and can provide fine-grained security guarantees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, OSDI 2014
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages183-199
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781931971164
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, OSDI 2014 - Broomfield, United States
Duration: Oct 6 2014Oct 8 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, OSDI 2014

Conference

Conference11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, OSDI 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBroomfield
Period10/6/1410/8/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture

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