PKI Security System (PSS)

Richard Sinn, Oct 2003



The PSS is a PKI based security system that provides access control for applications running on a particular computer system. As a research oriented project, project team has to decide what features are actually implemented in the project.

There are two parts of the project and each part is considered as a deliverable with these weighting:

Part I: Requirement Analysis and Design 20%

Part II: Implementation 80%



The objective of this project is to develop a PKI based security system. It covers various aspects of object-oriented analysis, PKI conceptual and physical design, and security application design. It also provides an opportunity for a hands-on experience with client-server database programming using Java, JDBC, C++/C, LDAP, and various security technologies programming. Mastering the materials in class (especially in all the homeworks) as well as the ability to learn new things quickly will be essential for success in this project.

Students are required to form a group of 4 or 5. As a research oriented project, only a brief set of requirements are given. There is a lot of room for individual group to come up with new ideas and implementation methods. Each group is responsible for:


Skills Required (or Need to learn)




Security has been a major issue in an organization nowadays. You, as the system programming team, have comes up with the concept of PKI Security System (PSS). The PSS would be used as a single digital layer to manage what user can run what applications in any computer system in the organization. Each user has a certificate associated with him/her, and the certificate has information on what applications could be run in a computer systems. Applications could be any program in a computer system, for example, Microsoft word, Excel, Apache server, IIS server, notepad, etc).


You, the system programming team, has to decide what architecture the PSS system will be run under. Websphere, home grown Java server, client / server pair... you have to decide

The PSS system will be used by multiple users even in the same machines

Administrator should be able to control what user can run what application in any computer system

PSS must deny user access to applications who he/she is not authorized to run

PSS must allow user to run applications who he/she is authorized to run seemlessly (no additional pop up, etc)

Note: Homework 1 to 3 should be used as building blocks for PSS.

(More detail will be covered in class)




As the whole class will be working on similar projects, relative grading will be used. In other words, all the projects will be ranked within the class and points will be assigned accordingly.



Final Word of Warning

This is not an "easy" class and the project is an essential part of the overall grade. People who did not deliver the project well enough could really hurt their grade as the project contains more than 40% of the overall grade.


On the bright side, most of the students in the A range did really well in the project. So, there is no upper bound for an A. (In other words, I do not limit the number of A in a class.)


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