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Revision Date Username Comment
1305 Oct 2015 - 12:56NicLewis 
1222 Jul 2014 - 15:46ThomasMisa 
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1003 Oct 2013 - 15:39norqu036? 
916 Apr 2013 - 08:45NicLewis 
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728 Mar 2013 - 09:18ThomasMisa 
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Current Activitieslock Who is Who?lock People Programs Publications CSHW_2014 Systems Events Mechanisms

Access Control Facility (ACF)


ACF was a software security system developed at the University of Illinois by Barry Schrager and Eberhard Klemens. Designed to provide discretionary access control for IBM mainframe operating systems (such as OS/390 and z/OS), ACF was a competitor of IBM's RACF product, and provided the unique concepts of "Protection by Default" and resource pattern masking, which RACF lacked. Schrager began development of ACF in his spare time in response to IBM's approach to security with RACF, which Schrager deemed inadequate, due to IBM's perception of security as having a negative impact on price and system performance, which would potentially drive away customers. In 1978, London Life Insurance (in London, Ontario) financed the SKK, Inc. effort to develop ACF into a commercial product. ACF was renamed ACF2 in 1978 to distinguish it from the ACF prototype.(1)(2)

In 1986 SKK and ACF2 were bought by UCCEL Corporation, which Computer Associates International (CA Technologies) purchased on December 31, 1986. ACF2 continues to be sold by CA Technologies as the product CA ACF2.(3) ACF2 uses rule sets, which are algorithms that determine if a user is allowed to access data, or some other resource. An authorized user compiles these rule sets, which are translated into object records stored in a database. Logged-in users may then access data only if granted access through the stored rule sets.(4)


1 , 4 : lock ACF2 Mainframe Security PDF pp. 1-2. - Document discusses the security features of ACF2. (Login required)

2 : oh404bs.pdf - 2012 CBI oral history with Barry Schrager, pp. 26-28, 30-31

3 : oh404bs.pdf - 2012 CBI oral history with Barry Schrager, pp. 58, 61, 66

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