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PhD Defense: Language-Based Techniques for Secure Programming
Ian Sweet
Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 10:00 am-12:00 pm Calendar
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Secure Computation (SC) encompasses many different cryptographic techniques for computing over encrypted data. In particular, Secure Multiparty Computation enables multiple parties to jointly compute a function over their secret inputs. MPC languages offer programmers a familiar environment in which to express their programs, but fall short when confronted with problems that require flexible coordination. More broadly, SC languages do not protect non-expert programmers from violating obliviousness or expected bounds on information leakage. We aim to show that secure programming can be made safer through language-based techniques for expressive, coordinated MPC; probabilistically oblivious execution; and quantitative analysis of information flow. We begin by presenting Symphony, an expressive MPC language that provides flexible coordination of many parties, which has been used to implement the secure shuffle of Laur, Willemson, and Zhang. Next, we present λObliv, a core language guaranteeing that well-typed programs are probabilistically oblivious, which has been used to type check tree-based, non-recursive ORAM (NORAM). Finally, we present a novel application of dynamic analysis techniques to an existing system for enforcing bounds on information leakage, providing a better balance of precision and performance.

Examining Committee:
Dean's Representative:
Dr. Michael Hicks    
Dr. Lawrence Washington    
Dr. Jonathan Katz    
Dr. David Van Horn    
Dr. David Darais (Galois Inc.)

Ian Sweet is a PhD student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, advised by Dr. Mike Hicks. He is a member of the Programming Languages at University of Maryland (PLUM) group. His research focuses on the design, implementation, and verification of secure programming languages.

This talk is organized by Tom Hurst