Quick links

Java Security: Web Browsers and Beyond

Report ID:
January 1997
Download Formats:


The introduction of Java applets has taken the World Wide Web by
storm. Java allows web creators to embellish their content with
arbitrary programs which execute in the web browser, whether for
simple animations or complex front-ends to other services. We examined
the Java language and the Sun HotJava, Netscape Navigator, and Microsoft
Internet Explorer browsers which support it, and found a significant
number of flaws which compromise their security. These flaws arise
for several reasons, including implementation errors, unintended
interactions between browser features, differences between the Java
language and bytecode semantics, and weaknesses in the design of the
language and the bytecode format. On a deeper level, these flaws
arise because of weaknesses in the design methodology used in creating
Java and the browsers. In addition to the flaws, we discuss the
underlying tension between the openness desired by web application
writers and the security needs of their users, and we suggest how both
might be accommodated.

Follow us: Facebook Twitter Linkedin