By Sokratis Katsikas

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Images, on the systems permanent storage device. running in a Web browser that provides a completely sterile environment with no access whatsoever to systems resources. The program, in this context, becomes absolutely useless. One, therefore, is required to strike the balance between totally confining a downloadable executable content within a Web browser and allowing it to freely handle system resources. By implication, one has to carefully consider what system resources and to what extent may be made available to a downloadable executable content, from within a Web browser, without endangering the systems security and at the same time guaranteeing the usefulness of the executable content.

This has several drawbacks: A the security services become much more application dependent. A it requires extra encoding I decoding of application data to I from an application independent format- this is normally the task of the presentation layer in the protocol stack; A the security transformations may have to be applied to several fields for a single CMISE service request - optimisation of the security transformations for several fields increases the complexity of the algorithms; A for confidentiality, it requires a modification of application data types.

One other approach at this layer is based on using a different model of clientserver interaction eschewing the use of HTTP. DCE-Web [Sch97] uses secure RPC (based on Kerberos version 5) to handle client-server transactions. This approach can be better integrated with an operating system that already provides security services, but is difficult to deploy universally as at the time of this writing the requisite services were only provided within the context of the DCE. Finally, it is important to note that an Application Programming Interface (API), the Generic Security Service API (GSS-API) has been developed [Lin97] to provide a consistent level of services and primitives to be used for ensuring authentication, integrity, and confidentiality.

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