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Du Li, Alex Potanin, Jonathan Aldrich.  2015.  Delegation vs Inheritance for Typestate Analysis. European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Formal Techniques for Java-like Programs track.

For several decades, inheritance and delegation have been widely adopted for code reuse in object-oriented languages. Though extensive research has explored the expressiveness of these techniques, little is known about how the choice between them affects formal reasoning. In this paper, we explore this question by describing two core languages that are identical except for the use of inheritance and delegation, respectively. We add support for formal reasoning about typestate to both languages, and evaluate the complexity of the formal semantics and compare the example specifications. Our study suggests that our variant of delegation can substantially simplify typestate reasoning, while inheritance makes code more succinct in the case where open recursion is used.

Donghoo Kim, Mladen Vouk.  2014.  A survey of common security vulnerabilities and corresponding countermeasures for SaaS. Second IEEE International workshop on Cloud Computing Systems, Networks, and Applications (CCSNA-2014). :59-63.
Dennis Griffith, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Elsa Gunter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  2013.  LiquidPi: Inferrable Dependent Session Types. 5th NASA Formal Methods Symposium NFM 2013 .

The Pi Calculus is a popular formalism for modeling distributed computation. Session Types extend the Pi Calculus with a static, inferable type system. Dependent Types allow for a more precise characterization of the behavior of programs, but in their full generality are not inferable. In this paper, we present LiquidPi an approach that combines the dependent type inferencing of Liquid Types with Honda’s Session Types to give a more precise automatically derived description of the behavior of distributed programs. These types can be used to describe/enforce safety properties of distributed systems. We present a type system parametric over an underlying functional language with Pi Calculus connectives and give an inference algorithm for it by means of efficient external solvers and a set of dependent qualifier templates.

Dawid Gawel, Maciej Kosarzecki, Poorvi L. Vora, Hua Wu, Filip Zagórski.  2016.  Apollo - End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting with Recovery from Vote Manipulation. E-VOTE-ID.

We present security vulnerabilities in the remote voting system Helios. We propose Apollo, a modified version of Helios, which addresses these vulnerabilities and could improve the feasibility of internet voting.

In particular, we note that Apollo does not possess Helios' major known vulnerability, where a dishonest voting terminal can change the vote after it obtains the voter's credential. With Apollo-lite, votes not authorized by the voter are detected by the public and prevented from being included in the tally.

The full version of Apollo enables a voter to prove that her vote was changed. We also describe a very simple protocol for the voter to interact with any devices she employs to check on the voting system, to enable frequent and easy auditing of encryptions and checking of the bulletin board.

David Garlan, Jeffrey Barnes, Bradley Schmerl.  2014.  Evolution Styles: foundations and models for software architecture evolution. Software and Systems Modeling (SoSyM) . 13(2):649-678.

As new market opportunities, technologies, platforms, and frameworks become available, systems require large-scale and systematic architectural restructuring to accommodate them. Today's architects have few techniques to help them plan this architecture evolution. In particular, they have little assistance in planning alternative evolution paths, trading off various aspects of the different paths, or knowing best practices for particular domains. In this paper, we describe an approach for planning and reasoning about architecture evolution. Our approach focuses on providing architects with the means to model prospective evolution paths and supporting analysis to select among these candidate paths. To demonstrate the usefulness of our approach, we show how it can be applied to an actual architecture evolution. In addition, we present some theoretical results about our evolution path constraint specification language.

Darya Melicher(Kurilova), Yangqingwei Shi, Alex Potanin, Jonathan Aldrich.  2017.  A Capability-Based Module System for Authority Control. European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP).

The principle of least authority states that each component of the system should be given authority to access only the information and resources that it needs for its operation. This principle is fundamental to the secure design of software systems, as it helps to limit an application’s attack surface and to isolate vulnerabilities and faults. Unfortunately, current programming languages do not provide adequate help in controlling the authority of application modules, an issue that is particularly acute in the case of untrusted third-party extensions. In this paper, we present a language design that facilitates controlling the authority granted to each application module. The key technical novelty of our approach is that modules are firstclass, statically typed capabilities. First-class modules are essentially objects, and so we formalize our module system by translation into an object calculus and prove that the core calculus is typesafe and authority-safe. Unlike prior formalizations, our work defines authority non-transitively, allowing engineers to reason about software designs that use wrappers to provide an attenuated version of a more powerful capability. Our approach allows developers to determine a module’s authority by examining the capabilities passed as module arguments when the module is created, or delegated to the module later during execution. The type system facilitates this by identifying which objects provide capabilities to sensitive resources, and by enabling security architects to examine the capabilities passed into and out of a module based only on the module’s interface, without needing to examine the module’s implementation code. An implementation of the module system and illustrative examples in the Wyvern programming language suggest that our approach can be a practical way to control module authority.

Darya Kurilova, Alex Potanin, Jonathan Aldrich.  2014.  Wyvern: Impacting Software Security via Programming Language Design. PLATEAU '14 Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Evaluation and Usability of Programming Languages and Tools.

Breaches of software security affect millions of people, and therefore it is crucial to strive for more secure software systems. However, the effect of programming language design on software security is not easily measured or studied. In the absence of scientific insight, opinions range from those that claim that programming language design has no effect on security of the system, to those that believe that programming language design is the only way to provide “high-assurance software.” In this paper, we discuss how programming language design can impact software security by looking at a specific example: the Wyvern programming language. We report on how the design of the Wyvern programming language leverages security principles, together with hypotheses about how usability impacts security, in order to prevent command injection attacks. Furthermore, we discuss what security principles we considered in Wyvern’s design. 

Daniel M. Best, Jaspreet Bhatia, Elena Peterson, Travis Breaux.  2017.  Improved cyber threat indicator sharing by scoring privacy risk. 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST).

Information security can benefit from real-time cyber threat indicator sharing, in which companies and government agencies share their knowledge of emerging cyberattacks to benefit their sector and society at large. As attacks become increasingly sophisticated by exploiting behavioral dimensions of human computer operators, there is an increased risk to systems that store personal information. In addition, risk increases as individuals blur the boundaries between workplace and home computing (e.g., using workplace computers for personal reasons). This paper describes an architecture to leverage individual perceptions of privacy risk to compute privacy risk scores over cyber threat indicator data. Unlike security risk, which is a risk to a particular system, privacy risk concerns an individual's personal information being accessed and exploited. The architecture integrates tools to extract information entities from textual threat reports expressed in the STIX format and privacy risk estimates computed using factorial vignettes to survey individual risk perceptions. The architecture aims to optimize for scalability and adaptability to achieve real-time risk scoring.