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ISG Research Seminar 21 November 2013

21/11/2013 (11:00-12:00)

Contact: Lorenzo Cavallaro


Speaker: Cristian Cadar (Imperial College London, UK)

Cristian Cadar is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, where he leads the Software Reliability Group (http://srg.doc.ic.ac.uk/).  His research interests span the areas of software engineering, computer systems and security, with an emphasis on building practical tools for improving the reliability and security of software systems. Cristian received a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, and undergraduate and Master's degrees from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology.

Title: Safe Software Updates via Multi-version Execution


Software systems are constantly evolving, with new versions and patches being released on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, software updates present a high risk, with many releases introducing new bugs and security vulnerabilities. We tackle this problem using a simple but effective multi-version based approach. Whenever a new update becomes available, instead of upgrading the software to the new version, we run the new version in parallel with the old one; by carefully coordinating their executions and selecting the behavior of the more reliable version when they diverge, we create a more secure and dependable multi-version application. We implemented this technique in Mx, a prototype system targeting Linux applications running on multi-core processors, and show that it can be applied successfully to several real applications, such as Lighttpd and Redis.


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