Departmental Papers (CIS)

Date of this Version


Document Type



Michael Hicks, Stephen Tse, Boniface Hicks, and Steve Zdancewic. Dynamic updating of information-flow policies. In Proc. of Foundations of Computer Security Workshop (FCS), 2005.


Applications that manipulate sensitive information should ensure end-to-end security by satisfying two properties: sound execution and some form of noninterference. By the former, we mean the program should always perform actions in keeping with its current policy, and by the latter we mean that these actions should never cause high-security information to be visible to a low-security observer. Over the last decade, security-typed languages have been developed that exhibit these properties, increasingly improving so as to model important features of real programs.

No current security-typed language, however, permits general changes to security policies in use by running programs. This paper presents a simple information flow type system for that allows for dynamic security policy updates while ensuring sound execution and a relaxed form of noninterference we term noninterference between updates. We see this work as an important step toward using language-based techniques to ensure end-to-end security for realistic applications.



Date Posted: 18 July 2012