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Security Issues in Mobile Code Paradigms

Security Issues in Mobile Code Paradigms
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Author(s): Simão Melo de Sousa (University of Beira Interior, Portugal), Mário M. Freire (University of Beira Interior, Portugal) and Rui C. Cardoso (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch539

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Abstract

Unlike mobile computing, in which hardware moves, mobile code moves from nodes to other nodes and can change the machines where it is executed. A paradigmatic example of such mobile code are Java applets that can be downloaded from a distant machine and executed by a virtual machine embedded in a browser. Multi-application smart cards (like Javacards) are an example of an execution environment that allows the loading and the execution of (mobile) programs into a card after its issuance. Code mobility allows the software reconfiguration without delivering a physical support, as done by Sun initially with Java to reprogram cable TV boxes, or nowadays, by Microsoft to promptly distribute software patches. PostScript files are another type of mobile programs which execute in printers to produce graphic images. Mobile code may also be used in distributed systems to adapt autonomously in order to balance loads or compensate for hardware failures (Brooks, 2004). Mobile code has received a great deal of interest as a promising solution to increase system flexibility, scalability, and reliability. However, to reach such objectives, some issues need to be matured, namely security issues. This article addresses security issues in mobile code paradigms.

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