Publication Date



Technical Report UTEP-CS-06-13.


The Java security package allows a programmer to add security features to Java applications. Although the package provides a complex application programming interface (API), its informal description, e.g., Javadoc comments, is often ambiguous or imprecise. Nonetheless, the security of an application can be compromised if the package is used without a concrete understanding of the precise behavior of the API classes and interfaces, which can be attained via formal specification. In this paper, we present our experiences in formally specifying the Java security package in JML, a formal behavior interface specification language for Java. We illustrate portions of our JML specifications and discuss the lessons that we learned, from this specification effort, about specification patterns and the effectiveness of JML. In addition, we put forward our JML wish list. Our specifications are not only a precise document for the API but also provide a foundation for formally reasoning and verifying the security aspects of applications. We believe that our specification techniques and patterns can be used to specify other Java packages and frameworks.