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Example text

If all relatively long-term storage of capabilities is handled by,the directory system, then the directories might be able to handle this problem. If not, then selective revocation of an access right requires special features because the capabilities that represent the access rights may have been copied many times. Access rights to an object can always be revoked by deleting the object (after making a copy of it), but this may destroy the access rights of other subjects. It may be desirable to revoke the access rights of a single subject-­ and of any other subject that received the access rights from that subject.

However, in a system using unique identifiers for capability-based addressing, even if the hardware does not detect an error, the probability that a capability would be transformed into capability for another existing object could easily be made exceedingly small--probably less than 2-30 if the unique identifier is 50 bits long. ~ It is still a difficult task to implement a capability-based system with the degree of re1i abi 1i ty and integrity that is des i rab 1e for security. ons 4 and 10 are used in the design of the system itself, then a very high level of confidence in the in­ tegrity and correctness of the protection systems should be possible.

The ideas discussed in this survey involve a substantial amount of discontinuity with the past. The basic addressing mechanisms of computer systems must be changed, and new structures for protection and modularity must be introduced into programming languages. These new ideas are not likely to be introduced into common practice unless there is a very strong economin incentive to do so and unless the ideas can be introduced in evo­ lutionary stages: (1) Economic incentive- Improved reliability and security usually involve higher costs.

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