[langsec-discuss] Will we ever "solve" security, or prove that we can't?

Chad Brewbaker crb002 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 15:32:37 UTC 2017

https://github.com/linux-test-project/ltp is useful for bootstrapping
Gnu/Linux kernel verification.

https://sourceware.org/glibc/wiki/Testing/TestsuiteNot for
bootstrapping Gnu C standard library verification.

Is there an LLVM option to wipe registers before/after function calls;
or fence a function to a small set of memory reads/write addresses?
Easier to reason with a small side effect surface.

The Haskell/Ocaml linker metadata practices need to be brought into
LLVM. If foo() makes a write() call to the operating system it needs
to be documented as IO in linker metadata. Right now I am doing a
whole program LLVM IR representation and inspecting the call graph.

On Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 1:04 AM, Chris Palmer <snackypants at gmail.com> wrote:
> The state of the art is well below the state of the art. :) That is, there
> are many problems for which we know decent or even good solutions, and have
> known of them for a long time, but for social, political, economic,
> interpersonal, or personal reasons, we can't adopt the solutions. (I've
> talked about examples in various blog posts and talks and stuff.)
> So I don't spend much time thinking about formal methods, post-quantum
> crypto, and other such fancy things. (I'm too dumb to understand that stuff
> anyway.) First let's use what type systems/crypto/OS primitives/et c. we
> already have. Basic stuff. I have a feeling that the craving for fancy magic
> would lessen if we could get the basics nailed down.
> By the time we finally nail down the basics, some of the fancy magic will
> have materialized, as it has been gradually doing all along. (Compare the
> evolution of type systems in practical languages from BCPL to Rust; or the
> evolution from old-timey lint to a modern day clang with all the warnings
> turned on; or from the first fuzzer to modern ASan/TSan/UBSan. We actually
> have delightfully fancy stuff! Now go use it! :) )
> And of course, the most effective technique at our disposal is sheer
> white-knuckled simplicity. Although that's the one we have the least hope of
> applying, it should always be the first one we try.
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