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Monday, February 18 • 11:00 - 12:30
New trends in system software security

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Novel safe systems programming languages and new hardware extensions can significantly improve the security of software.

The war between attackers and defenders in low-level languages has been ongoing for decades. Software written in C-like languages suffers from a set of specialized attacks. Consequentially, such software needs dedicated defenses to counter such attacks. This session highlights interesting new trends with game-changing potential.

New safe systems programming languages improve the current landscape. A language such as Mozilla's Rust helps prevent the introduction of memory safety vulnerabilities. At the same time, it also helps prevent data races in multi-threaded code. Complementary, the revival of hardware support for capabilities significantly changes the landscape. Such hardware makes it possible to provide safety guarantees for legacy C code efficiently. It supports the compartmentalization of software so that a vulnerability in one part of the code can be contained. This session gives an overview of these exciting and promising new technologies.

This session is intended for software developers using C or a related programming language, and anyone interested in fundamental new developments in software security.


Frank Piessens

Full professor, KU Leuven

Monday February 18, 2019 11:00 - 12:30 CET
West wing (room Lemaître)