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Improving Trust in Cloud, Enterprise, and Mobile Computing Platforms
Trust plays a fundamental role in the adoption of technology by society. Potential consumers tend to avoid a particular technology whenever they feel suspicious about its ability to cope with their security demands. Such a loss of trust could occur in important computing platforms, namely cloud, enterprise, and mobile platforms. In this thesis, we aim to improve trust in these platforms by (i) enhancing their security mechanisms, and (ii) giving their users guarantees that these mechanisms are in place. To realize both these goals, we propose several novel systems. For cloud platforms, we present Excalibur, a system that enables building trusted cloud services. Such services give cloud customers the ability to process data privately in the cloud, and to attest that the respective data protection mechanisms are deployed. Attestation is made possible by the use of trusted computing hardware placed on the cloud nodes. For enterprise platforms, we propose an OS security model—the broker security model—aimed at providing information security against a negligent or malicious system administrator while letting him retain most of the flexibility to manage the OS. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this model by building BrokULOS, a proof-of-concept instantiation of this model for Linux. For mobile platforms, we present the Trusted Language Runtime (TLR), a software system for hosting mobile apps with stringent security needs (e.g., e-wallet). The TLR leverages ARM TrustZone technology to protect mobile apps from OS security breaches.
Start Date: 2013-11-27
End Date: 2013-11-27
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