Visible to the public Biblio

Found 1514 results

Filters: Keyword is human factors  [Clear All Filters]
Rao, Ashwini, Hibshi, Hanan, Breaux, Travis, Lehker, Jean-Michel, Niu, Jianwei.  2014.  Less is More?: Investigating the Role of Examples in Security Studies Using Analogical Transfer Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :7:1–7:12.

Information system developers and administrators often overlook critical security requirements and best practices. This may be due to lack of tools and techniques that allow practitioners to tailor security knowledge to their particular context. In order to explore the impact of new security methods, we must improve our ability to study the impact of security tools and methods on software and system development. In this paper, we present early findings of an experiment to assess the extent to which the number and type of examples used in security training stimuli can impact security problem solving. To motivate this research, we formulate hypotheses from analogical transfer theory in psychology. The independent variables include number of problem surfaces and schemas, and the dependent variable is the answer accuracy. Our study results do not show a statistically significant difference in performance when the number and types of examples are varied. We discuss the limitations, threats to validity and opportunities for future studies in this area.

Layman, Lucas, Diffo, Sylvain David, Zazworka, Nico.  2014.  Human Factors in Webserver Log File Analysis: A Controlled Experiment on Investigating Malicious Activity. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :9:1–9:11.

While automated methods are the first line of defense for detecting attacks on webservers, a human agent is required to understand the attacker's intent and the attack process. The goal of this research is to understand the value of various log fields and the cognitive processes by which log information is grouped, searched, and correlated. Such knowledge will enable the development of human-focused log file investigation technologies. We performed controlled experiments with 65 subjects (IT professionals and novices) who investigated excerpts from six webserver log files. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered to: 1) analyze subject accuracy in identifying malicious activity; 2) identify the most useful pieces of log file information; and 3) understand the techniques and strategies used by subjects to process the information. Statistically significant effects were observed in the accuracy of identifying attacks and time taken depending on the type of attack. Systematic differences were also observed in the log fields used by high-performing and low-performing groups. The findings include: 1) new insights into how specific log data fields are used to effectively assess potentially malicious activity; 2) obfuscating factors in log data from a human cognitive perspective; and 3) practical implications for tools to support log file investigations.

Cepheli, O., Buyukcorak, S., Kurt, G.K..  2014.  User behaviour modelling based DDoS attack detection. Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU), 2014 22nd. :2186-2189.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are one of the most important threads in network systems. Due to the distributed nature, DDoS attacks are very hard to detect, while they also have the destructive potential of classical denial of service attacks. In this study, a novel 2-step system is proposed for the detection of DDoS attacks. In the first step an anomaly detection is performed on the destination IP traffic. If an anomaly is detected on the network, the system proceeds into the second step where a decision on every user is made due to the behaviour models. Hence, it is possible to detect attacks in the network that diverges from users' behavior model.

Frauenstein, E.D., Von Solms, R..  2014.  Combatting phishing: A holistic human approach. Information Security for South Africa (ISSA), 2014. :1-10.

Phishing continues to remain a lucrative market for cyber criminals, mostly because of the vulnerable human element. Through emails and spoofed-websites, phishers exploit almost any opportunity using major events, considerable financial awards, fake warnings and the trusted reputation of established organizations, as a basis to gain their victims' trust. For many years, humans have often been referred to as the `weakest link' towards protecting information. To gain their victims' trust, phishers continue to use sophisticated looking emails and spoofed websites to trick them, and rely on their victims' lack of knowledge, lax security behavior and organizations' inadequate security measures towards protecting itself and their clients. As such, phishing security controls and vulnerabilities can arguably be classified into three main elements namely human factors (H), organizational aspects (O) and technological controls (T). All three of these elements have the common feature of human involvement and as such, security gaps are inevitable. Each element also functions as both security control and security vulnerability. A holistic framework towards combatting phishing is required whereby the human feature in all three of these elements is enhanced by means of a security education, training and awareness programme. This paper discusses the educational factors required to form part of a holistic framework, addressing the HOT elements as well as the relationships between these elements towards combatting phishing. The development of this framework uses the principles of design science to ensure that it is developed with rigor. Furthermore, this paper reports on the verification of the framework.

Cailleux, L., Bouabdallah, A., Bonnin, J.-M..  2014.  A confident email system based on a new correspondence model. Advanced Communication Technology (ICACT), 2014 16th International Conference on. :489-492.

Despite all the current controversies, the success of the email service is still valid. The ease of use of its various features contributed to its widespread adoption. In general, the email system provides for all its users the same set of features controlled by a single monolithic policy. Such solutions are efficient but limited because they grant no place for the concept of usage which denotes a user's intention of communication: private, professional, administrative, official, military. The ability to efficiently send emails from mobile devices creates new interesting opportunities. We argue that the context (location, time, device, operating system, access network...) of the email sender appears as a new dimension we have to take into account to complete the picture. Context is clearly orthogonal to usage because a same usage may require different features depending of the context. It is clear that there is no global policy meeting requirements of all possible usages and contexts. To address this problem, we propose to define a correspondence model which for a given usage and context allows to derive a correspondence type encapsulating the exact set of required features. With this model, it becomes possible to define an advanced email system which may cope with multiple policies instead of a single monolithic one. By allowing a user to select the exact policy coping with her needs, we argue that our approach reduces the risk-taking allowing the email system to slide from a trusted one to a confident one.

Alsaleh, M.N., Al-Shaer, E.A..  2014.  Security configuration analytics using video games. Communications and Network Security (CNS), 2014 IEEE Conference on. :256-264.

Computing systems today have a large number of security configuration settings that enforce security properties. However, vulnerabilities and incorrect configuration increase the potential for attacks. Provable verification and simulation tools have been introduced to eliminate configuration conflicts and weaknesses, which can increase system robustness against attacks. Most of these tools require special knowledge in formal methods and precise specification for requirements in special languages, in addition to their excessive need for computing resources. Video games have been utilized by researchers to make educational software more attractive and engaging. Publishing these games for crowdsourcing can also stimulate competition between players and increase the game educational value. In this paper we introduce a game interface, called NetMaze, that represents the network configuration verification problem as a video game and allows for attack analysis. We aim to make the security analysis and hardening usable and accurately achievable, using the power of video games and the wisdom of crowdsourcing. Players can easily discover weaknesses in network configuration and investigate new attack scenarios. In addition, the gameplay scenarios can also be used to analyze and learn attack attribution considering human factors. In this paper, we present a provable mapping from the network configuration to 3D game objects.

Liew Tze Hui, Bashier, H.K., Lau Siong Hoe, Michael, G.K.O., Wee Kouk Kwee.  2014.  Conceptual framework for high-end graphical password. Information and Communication Technology (ICoICT), 2014 2nd International Conference on. :64-68.

User authentication depends largely on the concept of passwords. However, users find it difficult to remember alphanumerical passwords over time. When user is required to choose a secure password, they tend to choose an easy, short and insecure password. Graphical password method is proposed as an alternative solution to text-based alphanumerical passwords. The reason of such proposal is that human brain is better in recognizing and memorizing pictures compared to traditional alphanumerical string. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a conceptual framework to better understand the user performance for new high-end graphical password method. Our proposed framework is based on hybrid approach combining different features into one. The user performance experimental analysis pointed out the effectiveness of the proposed framework.

Conglei Shi, Yingcai Wu, Shixia Liu, Hong Zhou, Huamin Qu.  2014.  LoyalTracker: Visualizing Loyalty Dynamics in Search Engines. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. 20:1733-1742.

The huge amount of user log data collected by search engine providers creates new opportunities to understand user loyalty and defection behavior at an unprecedented scale. However, this also poses a great challenge to analyze the behavior and glean insights into the complex, large data. In this paper, we introduce LoyalTracker, a visual analytics system to track user loyalty and switching behavior towards multiple search engines from the vast amount of user log data. We propose a new interactive visualization technique (flow view) based on a flow metaphor, which conveys a proper visual summary of the dynamics of user loyalty of thousands of users over time. Two other visualization techniques, a density map and a word cloud, are integrated to enable analysts to gain further insights into the patterns identified by the flow view. Case studies and the interview with domain experts are conducted to demonstrate the usefulness of our technique in understanding user loyalty and switching behavior in search engines.

Welk, A., Zielinska, O., Tembe, R., Xe, G., Hong, K. W., Murphy-Hill, E., Mayhorn, C. B..  In Press.  Will the “Phisher-men” Reel you in? Assessing Individual Differences in a Phishing Detection Task International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology, and Learning. .

Phishing is an act of technology-based deception that targets individuals to obtain information. To minimize the number of phishing attacks, factors that influence the ability to identify phishing attempts must be examined. The present study aimed to determine how individual differences relate to performance on a phishing task. Undergraduate students completed a questionnaire designed to assess impulsivity, trust, personality characteristics, and Internet/security habits. Participants performed an email task where they had to discriminate between legitimate emails and phishing attempts. Researchers assessed performance in terms of correctly identifying all email types (overall accuracy) as well as accuracy in identifying phishing emails (phishing accuracy). Results indicated that overall and phishing accuracy each possessed unique trust, personality, and impulsivity predictors, but shared one significant behavioral predictor. These results present distinct predictors of phishing susceptibility that should be incorporated in the development of anti-phishing technology and training.

Jim Blythe, University of Southern California, Ross Koppel, University of Pennsylvania, Sean Smith, Dartmouth College.  2013.  Circumvention of Security: Good Users Do Bad Things.

Conventional wisdom is that the textbook view describes reality, and only bad people (not good people trying to get their jobs done) break the rules. And yet it doesn't, and good people circumvent.

Published in IEEE Security & Privacy, volume 11, issue 5, September - October 2013.

Njenga, K., Ndlovu, S..  2015.  Mobile banking and information security risks: Demand-side predilections of South African lead-users. 2015 Second International Conference on Information Security and Cyber Forensics (InfoSec). :86–92.

South Africa's lead-users predilections to tinker and innovate mobile banking services is driven by various constructs. Advanced technologies have made mobile banking services easy to use, attractive and beneficial. While this is welcome news to many, there are concerns that when lead-users tinker with these services, information security risks are exacerbated. The aim of this article is to present an insightful understanding of the demand-side predilections of South Africa's lead-users in such contexts. We assimilate the theories of Usage Control, (UCON), the Theory of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), and the Theory of Perceived Risk (TPP) to explain predilections over technology. We demonstrate that constructs derived from these theories can explain the general demand-side predilection to tinker with mobile banking services. A quantitative approach was used to test this. From a sample of South African banking lead-users operating in Gauteng province of South Africa, data was collected and analysed with the help of a software package. We found unexpectedly that, lead-users predilections to tinker with mobile banking services was inhibited by perceived risk. Moreover, male lead-users were more domineering in the tinkering process than female lead-users. The implication for this is discussed and explained in the main body of work.

Kilger, M..  2015.  Integrating Human Behavior Into the Development of Future Cyberterrorism Scenarios. 2015 10th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security. :693–700.

The development of future cyber terrorism scenarios is a key component in building a more comprehensive understanding of cyber threats that are likely to emerge in the near-to mid-term future. While developing concepts of likely new, emerging digital technologies is an important part of this process, this article suggests that understanding the psychological and social forces involved in cyber terrorism is also a key component in the analysis and that the synergy of these two dimensions may produce more accurate and detailed future cyber threat scenarios than either analytical element alone.

Bando, S., Nozawa, A., Matsuya, Y..  2015.  Multidimensional directed coherence analysis of keystroke dynamics and physiological responses. 2015 International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations (ICNF). :1–4.

Techno-stress has been a problem in recent years with a development of information technology. Various studies have been reported about a relationship between key typing and psychosomatic state. Keystroke dynamics are known as dynamics of a key typing motion. The objective of this paper is to clarify the mechanism between keystroke dynamics and physiological responses. Inter-stroke time (IST) that was the interval between each keystroke was measured as keystroke dynamics. The physiological responses were heart rate variability (HRV) and respiration (Resp). The system consisted of IST, HRV, and Resp was applied multidimensional directed coherence in order to reveal a causal correlation. As a result, it was observed that strength of entrainment of physiological responses having fluctuation to IST differed in surround by the noise and a cognitive load. Specifically, the entrainment became weak as a cognitive resource devoted to IST was relatively increased with the keystroke motion had a robust rhythm. On the other hand, the entrainment became stronger as a cognitive resource devoted to IST was relatively decreased since the resource also devoted to the noise or the cognitive load.

Calefato, Fabio, Lanubile, Filippo.  2016.  Affective Trust As a Predictor of Successful Collaboration in Distributed Software Projects. Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Emotion Awareness in Software Engineering. :3–5.

Building trust among remote developers is challenging because trust typically grows through close face-to-face interaction. In this paper, we present the preparatory design of an empirical study aimed to assess whether affective trust, established through social communication between developers, is a predictor of successful collaboration in distributed projects. Specifically, we intend to measure affective trust through sentiment analysis of pull-request comments.

Smith, Justin.  2016.  Identifying Successful Strategies for Resolving Static Analysis Notifications. Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering Companion. :662–664.

Although static analysis tools detect potential code defects early in the development process, they do not fully support developers in resolving those defects. To accurately and efficiently resolve defects, developers must orchestrate several complex tasks, such as determining whether the defect is a false positive and updating the source code without introducing new defects. Without good defect resolution strategies developers may resolve defects erroneously or inefficiently. In this work, I perform a preliminary analysis of the successful and unsuccessful strategies developers use to resolve defects. Based on the successful strategies identified, I then outline a tool to support developers throughout the defect resolution process.

Dupuis, Marc, Khadeer, Samreen.  2016.  Curiosity Killed the Organization: A Psychological Comparison Between Malicious and Non-Malicious Insiders and the Insider Threat. Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference on Research in Information Technology. :35–40.

Insider threats remain a significant problem within organizations, especially as industries that rely on technology continue to grow. Traditionally, research has been focused on the malicious insider; someone that intentionally seeks to perform a malicious act against the organization that trusts him or her. While this research is important, more commonly organizations are the victims of non-malicious insiders. These are trusted employees that are not seeking to cause harm to their employer; rather, they misuse systems-either intentional or unintentionally-that results in some harm to the organization. In this paper, we look at both by developing and validating instruments to measure the behavior and circumstances of a malicious insider versus a non-malicious insider. We found that in many respects their psychological profiles are very similar. The results are also consistent with other research on the malicious insider from a personality standpoint. We expand this and also find that trait negative affect, both its higher order dimension and the lower order dimensions, are highly correlated with insider threat behavior and circumstances. This paper makes four significant contributions: 1) Development and validation of survey instruments designed to measure the insider threat; 2) Comparison of the malicious insider with the non-malicious insider; 3) Inclusion of trait affect as part of the psychological profile of an insider; 4) Inclusion of a measure for financial well-being, and 5) The successful use of survey research to examine the insider threat problem.

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.

Zhu, Suwen, Lu, Long, Singh, Kapil.  2016.  CASE: Comprehensive Application Security Enforcement on COTS Mobile Devices. Proceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services. :375–386.

Without violating existing app security enforcement, malicious modules inside apps, such as a library or an external class, can steal private data and abuse sensitive capabilities meant for other modules inside the same apps. These so-called "module-level attacks" are quickly emerging, fueled by the pervasive use of third-party code in apps and the lack of module-level security enforcement on mobile platforms. To systematically thwart the threats, we build CASE, an automatic app patching tool used by app developers to enable module-level security in their apps built for COTS Android devices. During runtime, patched apps enforce developer-supplied security policies that regulate interactions among modules at the granularity of a Java class. Requiring no changes or special support from the Android OS, the enforcement is complete in covering inter-module crossings in apps and is robust against malicious Java and native app modules. We evaluate CASE with 420 popular apps and a set of Android's unit tests. The results show that CASE is fully compatible with the tested apps and incurs an average performance overhead of 4.9%.

Suzuki, Kenichi, Kiselyov, Oleg, Kameyama, Yukiyoshi.  2016.  Finally, Safely-extensible and Efficient Language-integrated Query. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGPLAN Workshop on Partial Evaluation and Program Manipulation. :37–48.

Language-integrated query is an embedding of database queries into a host language to code queries at a higher level than the all-to-common concatenation of strings of SQL fragments. The eventually produced SQL is ensured to be well-formed and well-typed, and hence free from the embarrassing (security) problems. Language-integrated query takes advantage of the host language's functional and modular abstractions to compose and reuse queries and build query libraries. Furthermore, language-integrated query systems like T-LINQ generate efficient SQL, by applying a number of program transformations to the embedded query. Alas, the set of transformation rules is not designed to be extensible. We demonstrate a new technique of integrating database queries into a typed functional programming language, so to write well-typed, composable queries and execute them efficiently on any SQL back-end as well as on an in-memory noSQL store. A distinct feature of our framework is that both the query language as well as the transformation rules needed to generate efficient SQL are safely user-extensible, to account for many variations in the SQL back-ends, as well for domain-specific knowledge. The transformation rules are guaranteed to be type-preserving and hygienic by their very construction. They can be built from separately developed and reusable parts and arbitrarily composed into optimization pipelines. With this technique we have embedded into OCaml a relational query language that supports a very large subset of SQL including grouping and aggregation. Its types cover the complete set of intricate SQL behaviors.

Kurilova, Darya, Potanin, Alex, Aldrich, Jonathan.  2016.  Modules in Wyvern: Advanced Control over Security and Privacy. Proceedings of the Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :68–68.

In today's systems, restricting the authority of untrusted code is difficult because, by default, code has the same authority as the user running it. Object capabilities are a promising way to implement the principle of least authority, but being too low-level and fine-grained, take away many conveniences provided by module systems. We present a module system design that is capability-safe, yet preserves most of the convenience of conventional module systems. We demonstrate how to ensure key security and privacy properties of a program as a mode of use of our module system. Our authority safety result formally captures the role of mutable state in capability-based systems and uses a novel non-transitive notion of authority, which allows us to reason about authority restriction: the encapsulation of a stronger capability inside a weaker one.

Yu, Fang, Shueh, Ching-Yuan, Lin, Chun-Han, Chen, Yu-Fang, Wang, Bow-Yaw, Bultan, Tevfik.  2016.  Optimal Sanitization Synthesis for Web Application Vulnerability Repair. Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis. :189–200.

We present a code- and input-sensitive sanitization synthesis approach for repairing string vulnerabilities that are common in web applications. The synthesized sanitization patch modifies the user input in an optimal way while guaranteeing that the repaired web application is not vulnerable. Given a web application, an input pattern and an attack pattern, we use automata-based static string analysis techniques to compute a sanitization signature that characterizes safe input values that obey the given input pattern and are safe with respect to the given attack pattern. Using the sanitization signature, we synthesize an optimal sanitization patch that converts malicious user inputs to benign ones with minimal editing. When the generated patch is added to the web application, it is guaranteed that the repaired web application is no longer vulnerable. We present refinements to previous sanitization synthesis algorithms that reduce the runtime sanitization cost significantly. We evaluate our approach on open source web applications using common input and attack patterns, demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach.

Sutcliffe, Richard J., Kowarsch, Benjamin.  2016.  Closing the Barn Door: Re-Prioritizing Safety, Security, and Reliability. Proceedings of the 21st Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education. :1:1–1:15.

Past generations of software developers were well on the way to building a software engineering mindset/gestalt, preferring tools and techniques that concentrated on safety, security, reliability, and code re-usability. Computing education reflected these priorities and was, to a great extent organized around these themes, providing beginning software developers a basis for professional practice. In more recent times, economic and deadline pressures and the de-professionalism of practitioners have combined to drive a development agenda that retains little respect for quality considerations. As a result, we are now deep into a new and severe software crisis. Scarcely a day passes without news of either a debilitating data or website hack, or the failure of a mega-software project. Vendors, individual developers, and possibly educators can anticipate an equally destructive flood of malpractice litigation, for the argument that they systematically and recklessly ignored known best development practice of long standing is irrefutable. Yet we continue to instruct using methods and to employ development tools we know, or ought to know, are inherently insecure, unreliable, and unsafe, and that produce software of like ilk. The authors call for a renewed professional and educational focus on software quality, focusing on redesigned tools that enable and encourage known best practice, combined with reformed educational practices that emphasize writing human readable, safe, secure, and reliable software. Practitioners can only deploy sound management techniques, appropriate tool choice, and best practice development methodologies such as thorough planning and specification, scope management, factorization, modularity, safety, appropriate team and testing strategies, if those ideas and techniques are embedded in the curriculum from the beginning. The authors have instantiated their ideas in the form of their highly disciplined new version of Niklaus Wirth's 1980s Modula-2 programming notation under the working moniker Modula-2 R10. They are now working on an implementation that will be released under a liberal open source license in the hope that it will assist in reforming the CS curriculum around a best practices core so as to empower would-be professionals with the intellectual and practical mindset to begin resolving the software crisis. They acknowledge there is no single software engineering silver bullet, but assert that professional techniques can be inculcated throughout a student's four-year university tenure, and if implemented in the workplace, these can greatly reduce the likelihood of multiplied IT failures at the hands of our graduates. The authors maintain that professional excellence is a necessary mindset, a habit of self-discipline that must be intentionally embedded in all aspects of one's education, and subsequently drive all aspects of one's practice, including, but by no means limited to, the choice and use of programming tools.

Holz, Christian, Bentley, Frank R..  2016.  On-Demand Biometrics: Fast Cross-Device Authentication. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. :3761–3766.

We explore the use of a new way to log into a web service, such as email or social media. Using on-demand biometrics, users sign in from a browser on a computer using just their name, which sends a request to their phone for approval. Users approve this request by authenticating on their phone using their fingerprint, which completes the login in the browser. On-demand biometrics thus replace passwords or temporary access codes found in two-step verification with the ease of use of biometrics. We present the results of an interview study on the use of on-demand biometrics with a live login backend. Participants perceived our system as convenient and fast to use and also expressed their trust in fingerprint authentication to keep their accounts safe. We motivate the design of on-demand biometrics, present an analysis of participants' use and responses around general account security and authentication, and conclude with implications for designing fast and easy cross-device authentication.

Anderson, Brian, Bergstrom, Lars, Goregaokar, Manish, Matthews, Josh, McAllister, Keegan, Moffitt, Jack, Sapin, Simon.  2016.  Engineering the Servo Web Browser Engine Using Rust. Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering Companion. :81–89.

All modern web browsers –- Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari –- have a core rendering engine written in C++. This language choice was made because it affords the systems programmer complete control of the underlying hardware features and memory in use, and it provides a transparent compilation model. Unfortunately, this language is complex (especially to new contributors!), challenging to write correct parallel code in, and highly susceptible to memory safety issues that potentially lead to security holes. Servo is a project started at Mozilla Research to build a new web browser engine that preserves the capabilities of these other browser engines but also both takes advantage of the recent trends in parallel hardware and is more memory-safe. We use a new language, Rust, that provides us a similar level of control of the underlying system to C++ but which statically prevents many memory safety issues and provides direct support for parallelism and concurrency. In this paper, we show how a language with an advanced type system can address many of the most common security issues and software engineering challenges in other browser engines, while still producing code that has the same performance and memory profile. This language is also quite accessible to new open source contributors and employees, even those without a background in C++ or systems programming. We also outline several pitfalls encountered along the way and describe some potential areas for future improvement.

Strackx, Raoul, Piessens, Frank.  2016.  Developing Secure SGX Enclaves: New Challenges on the Horizon. Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on System Software for Trusted Execution. :3:1–3:2.

The combination of (1) hard to eradicate low-level vulnerabilities, (2) a large trusted computing base written in a memory-unsafe language and (3) a desperate need to provide strong software security guarantees, led to the development of protected-module architectures. Such architectures provide strong isolation of protected modules: Security of code and data depends only on a module's own implementation. In this paper we discuss how such protected modules should be written. From an academic perspective it is clear that the future lies with memory-safe languages. Unfortunately, from a business and management perspective, that is a risky path and will remain so in the near future. The use of well-known but memory-unsafe languages such as C and C++ seem inevitable. We argue that the academic world should take another look at the automatic hardening of software written in such languages to mitigate low-level security vulnerabilities. This is a well-studied topic for full applications, but protected-module architectures introduce a new, and much more challenging environment. Porting existing security measures to a protected-module setting without a thorough security analysis may even harm security of the protected modules they try to protect.