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Re: Security considerations in Mathematica&J/Link

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  • Subject: [mg25130] Re: Security considerations in Mathematica&J/Link
  • From: Jeffrey S Austin <w8jsa at>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 03:14:49 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <8p9l1l$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Murphy wrote:

> yo group (& especially Todd Gayley),
> I am trying to write something of a Mathematica FrontEnd for the Web using
> J/Link & Servlets;
> the problem is the security;
> by allowing the user to evaluate arbitrary expressions, I'm opening a HUGE
> backdoor in the website;
> there have been discussions in my company that the feature set should be
> reduced to simply allowing the
> user to enter the function in a plot expression & also checking for eg.
> Filesystem and equally dangerous
> functions;
> but you can restrict as much as you want, potential crackers will always
> find a way;
> whether its by placing a pure function somewhere  that somehow calls a
> dangerous function
> or by using a more indirect way like BufferOverflows or exploiting one of
> the numerous Mathematica bugs;
> my questions are:
> - does anyone have any experience with something like that?
> - to Todd Gayley: have you considered security for mathematica or J/Link?
>    since WRI is trying to place J/Link as a tool for web applications
> (according to the website),
>    that might be one of the things to do;
>    (of course I know that J/Link is only a Layer on top of mathematica & so
> can't really do much about
>     security by itself,  but since you're a Java programmer I thought you
> might have some ideas/thoughts in
>    this direction);
> thanx in advance,
> murphee

You can set up a single computer network that isn't physically tied to any other computer if you're concerned about security. BSD would be my suggestion for an O/S.

Jeffrey S Austin
Civil Engineering Student
Old Dominion University

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