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Title: Secure control transfer in an object-oriented computing system
Other Titles: Wu jian dao xiang dian nao xi tong zhong de an quan ji shu zhi yuan
Authors: Mok, Pak Lun (莫栢倫)
Department: Dept. of Electronic Engineering
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Computer architecture
Computer security
Object-oriented programming (Computer science)
Notes: 114 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
CityU Call Number: QA76.64.M63 2005
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 112-113)
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2005
Type: Thesis
Abstract: The ever increasing complexity of computing drives the development of programming languages. Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) is proposed. In OOP, objects are the key elements to build up an application. OOP offers features like data encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism, to ease code maintenance, increase extensibility, reusability, and enhanced security. In the past, computers are designed with Von Neumann architecture that is suitable for procedural programming. For an application that is developed by OOP, it needs translation between the objects to hardware instructions and data. The current approach of translation introduces problems. Firstly, translation takes time. It decreases the performance of OOP applications running on today’s systems. Secondly, translation of objects to native instructions and data removes the benefits of objects at hardware level since the hardware does not manipulate objects directly. The security brought by OOP is removed by translations. Due to these problems, some changes at processor architectural level are needed. jHISC architecture is an object-oriented processor architecture. It adopts the security features of Java languages. Traditional machines permit direct memory access with their instruction sets, or pointers. This creates black holes for viruses and intrusion programs. In jHISC architecture, it prohibits direct memory access in which minimizes pontential attacks. Memory can only be accessed in a safe and structured way and the access procedure is governed by the architecture. The architecture provides boundary checking for objects and arrays. Besides, control flow of the architecture is guarded with the processor’s secure control transfer mechanism. Register Stack Engine is designed in jHISC architecture for stack management. The automation of stack manipulation eases compiler design and potentially remove bugs lead by mistaken manipulation and intentionally damaging of stack. Keywords: Object-Oriented Programming, Security, Computer Architecture
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