Formal Methods in Security Vassena, Nemati, K√ľnnemann

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20.11.2020

IFC Q&A Session starts soon

Today's Q&A session on IFC will start soon at https://cispa-de.zoom.us/j/93774001965?pwd=bWtQQVU4NndnTFNSNFVyaWxSUlVKdz09, please join!

19.11.2020

IFC Lecture 3 - Material Uploaded

I have uploaded the notes and the video of the 3rd lecture on IFC.

17.11.2020

IFC Sheet 2 Published (Deadline Friday 24, 23:59)

The second exercise sheet for IFC is published here.

The deadline is Friday 24, 23:59.

Submissions must be made on CMS (not by email).

09.11.2020

IFC Survey - Help me to help you!

The first week of the course is over and your feedback will help me a lot to improve the course and help you understand better.

I would really appreciate if you could fill in this anonymous survey: https://forms.gle/SmJR4xaeoEE7Ty2S7.

The survey should take no... Read more

The first week of the course is over and your feedback will help me a lot to improve the course and help you understand better.

I would really appreciate if you could fill in this anonymous survey: https://forms.gle/SmJR4xaeoEE7Ty2S7.

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes.

04.11.2020

Account for RocketChat

To log in to RocketChat, use your SIC account, not the university account.

Normally, all students should automatically get an account, but it appears that an employee shortage has delayed this process.

If you do not have a SIC account, follow the instructions... Read more

To log in to RocketChat, use your SIC account, not the university account.

Normally, all students should automatically get an account, but it appears that an employee shortage has delayed this process.

If you do not have a SIC account, follow the instructions at https://it.cs.uni-saarland.de/students/accounts to obtain one.

If you have one, join the channel #ifc (password: non-interference).

02.11.2020

Registration deadline prolonged

Hi! Registration is prolonged until Tuesday, Nov 10.

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Formal Methods in Security
 

Despite decades of research in computer security, security vulnerabilities still plague computer systems with an ever-growing number of new vulnerabilities discovered every day. How can we ensure that computer systems are really secure? Formal methods offer a promising approach towards this goal: they can guarantee the absence of specific security vulnerabilities with mathematical certainty and therefore help us develop mode reliable systems.

In this course, we will study how formal methods can be applied to verify that the design and implementation of computer systems respect their intended security policies. The course is structured in three independent parts, which focus on specific techniques for different domains: language-based information-flow control, security protocols, and system-level verification. As a whole, the course will give you hands-on experience in reasoning about security at different layers of abstraction through established principled techniques and a broad introduction to state-of-the-art research in the area.

 

Topics and Instructors

  1. Language-based Information-Flow Control (Marco Vassena)

    In the first part of the course, we will study information-flow control techniques that track how data flows in a program to enforce data confidentiality and integrity. We will discuss both static and dynamic IFC techniques based on security type systems and taint tracking, as well as techniques that track data flows in a program at a different granularity (for example per program variable or per program block). Finally, we will see how programming languages principles can be applied to formally verify that these techniques enforce security. Basic knowledge of programming languages theory is preferred, but not required.

  2. Proof techniques for system verification (Hamed Nemati)
    The main goal of the second part of this course is to show you how we should approach verification of large scale  systems like  micro-kernels and hypervisors. This is a very challenging task in practice. We will study abstraction, decomposition and refinement as techniques that usually used in practice to facilitate verification of such systems. Finally, in our last lecture we see how we can combine fuzzing and formal verification to validate systems that their verification is not feasible in practice.  
     
  3. Protocol Verification (Robert Künnemann)
    Protocol verification assumes that the cryptography is perfect and tries to ensure that they are used correctly. It is not about defending against super smart mathematicians exploiting biases in key streams, but equally smart hackers confusing one party about the state of another party.

    We will discuss how to get from the Alice-bob notation to a minimalistic, precise specification of the protocol and its setup
    how to formulate our security requirements and how to verify that these requirements hold, using tools that have by now reached an impressive degree of automation.
     

Organization

Registration: open now! (Once you are registered here, don't forget to register in the LSF.)

When: Wed 10h-12h

Where: Zoom (links will appear in the calendar)

Calendar & Lecture plan: link (Click "..." next to calendar for subscription link for your favorite application) (work in progress)

Mode:

  1. First part (Marco): live lectures on Wednesday 10-12, Q&A session on Friday 10-12.
  2. Second+Third part (Hamed + Robert): flipped classroom: recorded lectures on Monday, Q&A session on Wednesday.

Exam requirements: three exercise sheets per part, 50% of total points, work in groups allowed

Exam: two oral exams (first and second part), and one project (third part). Passing requirement is >4.0 on two of the three.

RocketChat: Since the course is entirely virtual, we invite students to join these RocketChat channels to discuss the content of the lectures with the instructors.  

  • Information-Flow Control: channel #ifc, password: non-interference
  • System Verification : channel #sysv, password: non-interference
  • Protocol Verification (TBA)

To log in to RocketChat, use your SIC accountnot the university account.

Course Goals

  • Understand the challenges of some open problems in computer security

  • Learn state-of-the-art techniques to address these problems and how to apply them (as a programmer, protocol designer, web developer etc.)

  • By-product: a taxonomy of where things can go wrong in security on different layers

Learning Objectives

After the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply Information-Flow Control (IFC) techniques to the design of secure programming languages.

  • Analyze the security guarantees of IFC languages through programming languages principles.

  • Discuss problems, solutions, and open challenges presented in IFC research papers.

  • Understand fundamental concepts in verification. 

  • Learn how to use formal techniques to find vulnerabilities in low-level systems.

  • Gain knowledge to be able to read and understand papers in system verification.

  • Model protocols and cryptographic assumptions in the applied-pi calculus.

  • Express authentication and secrecy properties via correspondence and reachability.

  • Exploit automated tools to verify protocols.

 

Target Audience

Mainly M.Sc students and interested graduate students. Interested and motivated B.Sc students should contact us and argue that (a) they are particularly interested and (b) they have the necessary background in logical reasoning to follow the course.

 

 

 



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