University of Passau
Department of Informatics and Mathematics
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WebSand: Server-driven Outbound Web-application Sandboxing

Since its birth in 1990, the Web has evolved from a simple, stateless delivery mechanism for static hypertext documents to a fully-edged run-time environment for distributed, multi-party applications. Security becomes increasingly important in this context, but is typically only an afterthought in this process. The next wave, the Future Internet, will continue to rely on the same web application technology, while adopting more p2p and mashup-style approaches. Today's server-centric solutions will give way to a rich and stateful client-centric paradigm with even less manageable security and even more severe threats to the web-based economy of the Future Internet. Data and services from multiple heterogeneous domains, aggregated both on the server-side and on an end-user's client, demand for a novel, comprehensive security solution that increases the user's trust into the technological infrastructure. WebSand tackles this demand by departing from the observation that security should be server-driven. Even though security preferences from end-users at the client-side have to be taken into account, only the service developers at the server-side have the necessary expertise and context information to define the policies to be enforced. Moreover, server-driven security can be deployed relatively easily, since much can be achieved without updating the client-side platform.


SAP AG, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Universität Passau, Siemens AG

Main WebSand Objectives

In the course of WebSand, a framework is developed that consists of four major building blocks:
  1. a secure interaction model, that allows explicit and fine-grained control concerning incoming Web communication,
  2. methods for secure end-to-end information flow control, to enforce confidentiality and integrity properties,
  3. behavioral sandbox environments for secure client-side and server-side composition of multi-origin components, and
  4. a declarative and expressive policy description mechanism that ties the individual components together into a unified security architecture spanning client and server.

Role of Uni Passau in WebSand

Our chair
  • leads the work package on secure interaction models (WP2),
  • contributes to the requirements of the WebSand policy language,
  • leads the activities concerning integrity requirements of intended control flow and the development of the central enforcement mechanism,
  • participates in the enforcement of information-flow policies, with particular focus on synergy between server-side and client-side enforcement,
  • explores code rewriting techniques, and
  • hosts and maintains the the central integration lab.

People involved

Research assistants


  • Daniel Hausknecht
  • Korbinian Pauli


  • B. Braun, K. Pauli, J. Posegga and M. Johns. LogSec: Adaptive Protection for the Wild Wild Web. In the 2015 ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC 2015) - to appear, April, 2015. bibtex ...
  • B. Braun, J. Köstler, J. Posegga and M. Johns. A Trusted UI for the Mobile Web. In 29th IFIP International Information Security and Privacy Conference (IFIP SEC 2014), June, 2014. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • B. Braun, C. Gries, B. Petschkuhn and J. Posegga. Ghostrail: Ad Hoc Control-Flow Integrity for Web Applications. In 29th IFIP International Information Security and Privacy Conference (IFIP SEC 2014), June, 2014. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • B. Braun, J. Köstler, M. Johns and J. Posegga. PhishSafe: Leveraging Modern JavaScript API's for Transparent and Robust Protection. In Fourth ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy (ACM CODASPY 2014), March, 2014. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • B. Braun, C. v. Pollak and J. Posegga. A Survey on Control-Flow Integrity Means in Web Application Frameworks. In 18th Nordic Conference on Secure IT Systems (NordSec 2013), October, 2013. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • B. Braun, P. Gemein, H. P. Reiser and J. Posegga. Control-Flow Integrity in Web Applications. In International Symposium on Engineering Secure Software and Systems (ESSoS 2013), Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), Springer, February, 2013. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • M. Johns, S. Lekies, B. Braun and B. Flesch. BetterAuth: Web Authentication Revisited. In Proceedings of the 2012 Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC 2012), December, 2012. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • B. Braun, S. Kucher, M. Johns and J. Posegga. A User-Level Authentication Scheme to Mitigate Web Session-Based Vulnerabilities. In Trust, Privacy and Security in Digital Business (TrustBus '12), pages 17-29, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), Springer, September, 2012. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • B. Braun, P. Gemein, B. Höfling, M. M. Maisch and A. Seidl. Angriffe auf OpenID und ihre strafrechtliche Bewertung. In Datenschutz und Datensicherheit - DuD, 36: 502-509, July, 2012. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • M. Johns, B. Braun, M. Schrank and J. Posegga. Reliable Protection Against Session Fixation Attacks. In Proceedings of the 2011 ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC 2011), pages 1531-1537, ACM, 2011. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
  • M. Schrank, B. Braun, M. Johns and J. Posegga. Session Fixation  n the Forgotten Vulnerability?. In Sicherheit 2010: Sicherheit, Schutz und Zuverlässigkeit, pages 341-352, Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI), Springer, 2010. doi...  pdf...  bibtex ...
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