Effective CISSP Questions

Mandatory Access Control (MAC) and Discretionary Access Control (DAC) are well-known authorization mechanisms introduced in the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC). Which of the following statements about the authorization mechanisms is not true?
A. MAC can exist alone without DAC
B. Privileges granted by the data owner can be reauthorized to others in DAC.
C. A subject with mere security clearance gets no access to objects.
D. MAC mediates the data flow between classification levels.

Kindly be reminded that the suggested answer is for your reference only. It doesn’t matter whether you have the right or wrong answer. What really matters is your reasoning process and justifications.

My suggested answer is A. MAC can exist alone without DAC.

The TCSEC defines criteria to evaluate trusted computing systems, which comprise four divisions; each division may be divided into classes. The Classes (B1, B2, and B3) of Division B shall meet the requirements of Division C. All MAC mechanisms (Division B) defined in TCSEC cover DAC (Division C). In other words, MAC cannot exist alone without DAC.

  • It’s a common problem in DAC that privileges granted by the data owner can be reauthorized to others. Take NTFS, for example – someone granted a file with the “Full Control” permission can reauthorize the file to others.
  • A subject shall have appropriate security clearance and need-to-know to get access to objects. (Special approval is required for compartmented information).
  • MAC mediates the data flow between classification levels to enforce security. For example, the Bell–LaPadula model can prevent data in the higher level from flowing to the lower level because of operations of read or write.
TCSEC Criteria
TCSEC Criteria



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強制訪問控制(MAC)和自由訪問控制(DAC)是受信任計算機系統評估標準(TCSEC)中引入的知名授權機制。 關於上述授權機制,以下哪些陳述不正確?
A. 沒有DAC,MAC也可以單獨存在
B. 數據所有者(data owner)授予的特權可以在DAC中重新授權給其他人。
C. 僅具有安全許可(security clearance)的主體(subject)無法訪問任何客體(object)。
D. MAC對分類級別(classification level)之間的數據流進行管制。

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