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PhD Proposal: Execution Environments for Running Legacy Applications in Multi-Party Trust Settings
Stephen Herwig
Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 9:30-11:30 am Calendar
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Applications often assume a monolithic trust setting where a single party controls the ap- plication, its data, and its execution environment. This assumption no longer holds when organizations outsource applications to a third-party cloud, or use the application to compute over a heterogeneous dataset, such as data from multiple parties. The result of this broken assumption is that using applications in these settings leaks one party’s private data to another. I propose to evaluate the following thesis: it is possible to run legacy application binaries with confidentiality and integrity guarantees that reflect a multi-party trust setting. My approach is to apply operating system designs and fine-grained information flow control to hoist, or otherwise partition, the execution environment into trust boundaries in a manner that is transparent to the application.

In the first part of my proposal, I review my prior work in extending a library operating system that runs within an Intel SGX secure hardware enclave, so as to support running a broader set of trusted, legacy, applications in untrusted environments. In the second part, I discuss my proposed work, codomains, an execution model that maintains the source-level abstraction of a monolithic program, but allows an application to dynamically switch execution to different domains (hosts and enclaves) via language-neutral mechanisms.

Examining Committee: 
                          Chair:               Dr. Dave Levin
                          Dept rep:         Dr.  David Van Horn
                          Members:        Dr. Bobby Bhattacharjee
                                                    Dr. Christina Garman
                                                    Dr. Deepak Garg
This talk is organized by Tom Hurst