Upcoming events

Techniques to Protect Confidentiality and Integrity of Persistant and In-Memory Data

Anjo Vahldiek-Oberwagner
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
SWS Student Defense Talks - Thesis Defense
05 Feb 2019, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 029
simultaneous videocast to Kaiserslautern building G26, room 111
Today computers store and analyze valuable and sensitive data. As a result we need to protect this data against confidentiality and integrity violations that can result in the illicit release, loss, or modification of a user’s and an organization’s sensitive data such as personal media content or client records. Existing techniques protecting confidentiality and integrity lack either efficiency or are vulnerable to malicious attacks. In this thesis we suggest techniques, Guardat and ERIM, to efficiently and robustly protect persistent and in-memory data. To protect the confidentiality and integrity of persistent data, clients specify per-file policies to Guardat declaratively, concisely and separately from code. Guardat enforces policies by mediating I/O in the storage layer. In contrast to prior techniques, we protect against accidental or malicious circumvention of higher software layers. We present the design and prototype implementation, and demonstrate that Guardat efficiently enforces example policies in a web server. To protect the confidentiality and integrity of in-memory data, ERIM isolates sensitive data using Intel Memory Protection Keys (MPK), a recent x86 extension to partition the address space. However, MPK does not protect against malicious attacks by itself. We prevent malicious attacks by combining MPK with call gates to trusted entry points and ahead-of-time binary inspection. In contrast to existing techniques, ERIM efficiently protects frequently-used session keys of web servers, an in-memory reference monitor’s private state, and managed runtimes from native libraries. These use cases result in high switch rates of the order of 10 5 –10 6 switches/s. Our experiments demonstrate less then 1% runtime overhead per 100,000 switches/s, thus outperforming existing techniques.

Machine Teaching

Adish Singla
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
Joint Lecture Series
06 Feb 2019, 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 002
Much of the research in machine learning has focused on designing algorithms for discovering knowledge from data and learning a target model. What if there is a ``teacher" who knows the target already, and wants to steer the ``learner" towards this target as quickly as possible?  For instance, in an educational setting, the teacher (e.g., a tutoring system) has an educational goal that she wants to communicate to a student via a set of demonstrations and lessons; in adversarial attacks known as training-set poisoning, the teacher (e.g., a hacking algorithm) manipulates the behavior of a machine learning system by maliciously modifying the training data. This lecture will provide an overview of machine teaching and cover the following three aspects: (i) how machine teaching differs from machine learning, (ii) highlight the problem space of machine teaching across different dimensions, and (iii) discuss our recent work on developing teaching algorithms for human learners.

Dynamic Symbolic Execution for Software Analysis

Cristian Cadar
Imperial College London
SWS Distinguished Lecture Series
07 Feb 2019, 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Kaiserslautern building G26, room 111
simultaneous videocast to Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 029
Symbolic execution is a program analysis technique that can automatically explore and analyse paths through a program. While symbolic execution was initially introduced in the seventies, it has only received significant attention during the last decade, due to tremendous advances in constraint solving technology and effective blending of symbolic and concrete execution into what is often called dynamic symbolic execution. Dynamic symbolic execution is now a key ingredient in many computer science areas, such as software engineering, computer security, and software systems, to name just a few. In this talk, I will discuss recent advances and ongoing challenges in the area of dynamic symbolic execution, drawing upon our experience developing several symbolic execution tools for many different scenarios, such as high-coverage test input generation, bug and security vulnerability detection, patch testing and bounded verification, among many others.

Scalable positioning of commodity mobile devices using audio signals

Viktor Erdélyi
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
SWS Student Defense Talks - Thesis Defense
14 Feb 2019, 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 029
simultaneous videocast to Kaiserslautern building G26, room 111
This thesis explores the problem of computing a position map for co-located mobile devices. The positioning should happen in a scalable manner without requiring specialized hardware and without requiring specialized infrastructure (except basic Wi-Fi or cellular access). At events like meetings, talks, or conferences, a position map can aid spontaneous communication among users based on their relative position in two ways. First, it enables users to choose message recipients based on their relative position, which also enables the position-based distribution of documents. Second, it enables senders to attach their position to messages, which can facilitate interaction between speaker and audience in a lecture hall and enables the collection of feedback based on users’ location.

In this thesis, we present Sonoloc, a mobile app and system that, by relying on acoustic signals, allows a set of commodity smart devices to determine their relative positions. Sonoloc can position any number of devices within acoustic range with a constant number of acoustic signals emitted by a subset of devices. Our experimental evaluation with up to 115 devices in real rooms shows that – despite substantial background noise – the system can locate devices with an accuracy of tens of centimeters using no more than 15 acoustic signals.