Browse Prior Art Database

Password Control of Applications in a Multitasking Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105934D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kreigh, RJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In a multitasking (e.g., windowed) environment end users can gain access to products/programs/objects/tasks running in the backround. Because they can gain access to the backround tasks, two problems are produced:

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Password Control of Applications in a Multitasking Environment

      In a multitasking (e.g., windowed) environment end users can
gain access to products/programs/objects/tasks running in the
backround.  Because they can gain access to the backround tasks, two
problems are produced:

o     Users can intentionally gain access and change something
o     (parameters/values) they should not change.
o     Users can accidentally gain access and change something they
    should
o     not change.

 compact.  Both of these situations create security problems, where
access is available to "restricted" resources.

      One example of this would be an environment where end users are
dedicated to single repetitive tasks.  For example, the end user's
task might be to observe information displayed in Application

(Window) A and input this information into a field in Application
(Window) B and processing the data (e.g., Pressing ENTER).  After
this transaction is processed, new data is displayed in Application A
and the task is repeated.  In this example the configuration of their
workstation might be such that several applications (e.g., LAN
Manager, Communications Manager, etc.) are running in the backround,
without knowledge or intervention by the end user.

      The reaseon that all users should not have access to all tasks
is that it may be difficult to set-up or reconfigure parameters for
the backround task and those parameters may be critical to the
successful functioning of the foreground tasks.  For example, the
Communication Manager may be running in the backround as an end user
performs some task at their workstation that requires a specific
set-up in the Communication Manager.  The Communication Manager has
many configuration parameters that most end users should not change.
However, end users can go in and change the parameters at will,
anytime they want to.  In addition, novice computer users can get
into a backround process by accident and change the parameters
without intending to change anything.  The end result is that
authorized personnel (e.g., a System Administrator) will have to
reconfigure Communications Manager to the required parameters.

      In another example, the end user may change the way programs
are running when they are not authorized to change the way the
programs run - as on a LAN server.  This constitutes a serious
security problem.

      This invention defines a method of limiting end users from
gaining access to, and changing a program's settings that is running
in the backround of a multitasking environment.

      This invention proposes a solution to these problems by
suggesting a password lock / registration control be put in place in
the multitasking environment.  A "password control" should be made
available, so that system administrators (or installer) of a task /
program could r...