Composable Enhancements for Gradual Assurances
Waye, Lucas Reed
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis dissertation presents three enhancements to software components that increase the trustworthiness and usability of the systems they comprise. The enhancements are composable: they are local to the components they enhance and are self-contained. Since they are self-contained and local, composable enhancements can be partially deployed in a system without adversely affecting system behavior. The assurances provided by the enhancements are gradual: as the number of enhanced components in the system increases, the overall assurances provided by the entire system also increases. This dissertation investigates these enhancements in three different settings. In each setting, it identifies an inherent security or functional correctness problem with the components in that setting and provides a composable enhancement that remedies the problem gradually.
In the first setting, this dissertation identifies that although modern services expose interfaces that are higher-order in spirit, the simplicity of the network protocols used forces services to rely on brittle encodings. To bridge the semantic gap, this dissertation presents Whip, a higher-order contract system that allows programmers to detect when services do not live up to their advertised higher-order interfaces. As more services use Whip, it becomes easier to identify errant services in the system.
In the second setting, this dissertation identifies that in the Disjunction Category label model, capability-like privileges are used to downgrade information, which when used inappropriately can compromise security. To ensure privileges are used as intended, this dissertation presents restricted privileges, an enhancement to privileges to control downgrading based on a specification of security conditions for when they can be legitimately used. As more privileges are restricted, information in the system becomes more protected from the accidental or malicious exercise of privileges to downgrade more information than intended.
In the third setting, this dissertation identifies that information-flow control (IFC) programs often need to interact with a key-value store that can also be accessed by non-IFC programs. These non-IFC programs may inadvertently (or maliciously) fail to respect the policies enforced by the IFC programs. In order to ensure the information protected by the IFC programs is not exfiltrated or corrupted by non-IFC programs through the key-value store, this dissertation presents Clio, an extension to a popular IFC language that transparently incorporates cryptography for data on the untrustworthy key-value store. As more IFC programs use Clio, the more information is protected from non-IFC programs in the system.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:39987880
- FAS Theses and Dissertations