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Liu, Jed, Hallahan, William, Schlesinger, Cole, Sharif, Milad, Lee, Jeongkeun, Soulé, Robert, Wang, Han, Ca\c scaval, C\u alin, McKeown, Nick, Foster, Nate.  2018.  P4V: Practical Verification for Programmable Data Planes. Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication. :490-503.

We present the design and implementation of p4v, a practical tool for verifying data planes described using the P4 programming language. The design of p4v is based on classic verification techniques but adds several key innovations including a novel mechanism for incorporating assumptions about the control plane and domain-specific optimizations which are needed to scale to large programs. We present case studies showing that p4v verifies important properties and finds bugs in real-world programs. We conduct experiments to quantify the scalability of p4v on a wide range of additional examples. We show that with just a few hundred lines of control-plane annotations, p4v is able to verify critical safety properties for switch.p4, a program that implements the functionality of on a modern data center switch, in under three minutes.

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Sheff, Isaac, Magrino, Tom, Liu, Jed, Myers, Andrew C., van Renesse, Robbert.  2016.  Safe Serializable Secure Scheduling: Transactions and the Trade-Off Between Security and Consistency. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :229–241.

Modern applications often operate on data in multiple administrative domains. In this federated setting, participants may not fully trust each other. These distributed applications use transactions as a core mechanism for ensuring reliability and consistency with persistent data. However, the coordination mechanisms needed for transactions can both leak confidential information and allow unauthorized influence. By implementing a simple attack, we show these side channels can be exploited. However, our focus is on preventing such attacks. We explore secure scheduling of atomic, serializable transactions in a federated setting. While we prove that no protocol can guarantee security and liveness in all settings, we establish conditions for sets of transactions that can safely complete under secure scheduling. Based on these conditions, we introduce \textbackslashti\staged commit\, a secure scheduling protocol for federated transactions. This protocol avoids insecure information channels by dividing transactions into distinct stages. We implement a compiler that statically checks code to ensure it meets our conditions, and a system that schedules these transactions using the staged commit protocol. Experiments on this implementation demonstrate that realistic federated transactions can be scheduled securely, atomically, and efficiently.

Liu, Jed, Corbett-Davies, Joe, Ferraiuolo, Andrew, Ivanov, Alexander, Luo, Mulong, Suh, G. Edward, Myers, Andrew C., Campbell, Mark.  2018.  Secure Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems Through Verifiable Information Flow Control. Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems Security and PrivaCy. :48–59.

Modern cyber-physical systems are complex networked computing systems that electronically control physical systems. Autonomous road vehicles are an important and increasingly ubiquitous instance. Unfortunately, their increasing complexity often leads to security vulnerabilities. Network connectivity exposes these vulnerable systems to remote software attacks that can result in real-world physical damage, including vehicle crashes and loss of control authority. We introduce an integrated architecture to provide provable security and safety assurance for cyber-physical systems by ensuring that safety-critical operations and control cannot be unintentionally affected by potentially malicious parts of the system. Fine-grained information flow control is used to design both hardware and software, determining how low-integrity information can affect high-integrity control decisions. This security assurance is used to improve end-to-end security across the entire cyber-physical system. We demonstrate this integrated approach by developing a mobile robotic testbed modeling a self-driving system and testing it with a malicious attack.