.NET Framework 1.1 Security Guidelines - Threading

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- J.D. Meier, Alex Mackman, Michael Dunner, Srinath Vasireddy, Ray Escamilla and Anandha Murukan


Do Not Cache the Results of Security Checks

If your multithreaded code caches the results of a security check, perhaps in a static variable, the code is potentially vulnerable as shown in the following code sample.

  public void AccessSecureResource()
    _callerOK = PerformSecurityDemand();
    _callerOK = false;
  private void OpenAndWorkWithResource()
    if (_callerOK)

If there are other paths to OpenAndWorkWithResource, and a separate thread calls the method on the same object, it is possible for the second thread to omit the security demand, because it sees _callerOK=true, set by another thread.

Consider Impersonation Tokens

When you create a new thread, it assumes the security context defined by the process level token. If a parent thread is impersonating while it creates a new thread, the impersonation token is not passed to the new thread.

Note In .NET 2.0, by default, the impersonation token still does not flow across threads. However, for ASP.NET applications, you can change this default behavior by configuring the ASPNET.config file in the %Windir%Microsoft.NET\Framework\{Version} directory. For more information see "Threading" section in Security Guidelines .NET Framework 2.0." at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnpag2/html/PAGGuidelines0003.asp

Synchronize Static Class Constructors

If you use static class constructors, make sure they are not vulnerable to race conditions. If, for example, they manipulate static state, add thread synchronization to avoid potential vulnerabilities.

Synchronize Dispose Methods

If you develop non-synchronized Dispose implementations, the Dispose code may be called more than once on separate threads. The following code sample shows an example of this.

void Dispose()
 if (null != _theObject)
   _theObject = null;

In this example, it is possible for two threads to execute the code before the first thread has set _theObject reference to null. Depending on the functionality provided by the ReleaseResources method, security vulnerabilities may occur.

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