Taxonomies for software security

Corcalciuc, Horia V. (2014). Taxonomies for software security. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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A reoccurring problem with software security is that programmers are encouraged to reason about correctness either at code-level or at the design level, while attacks often tend to take places on intermediary layers of abstraction. It may happen that the code itself may seem correct and secure as long as its functionality has been demonstrated - for example, by showing that some invariant has been maintained. However, from a high-level perspective, one can observe that parallel executing processes can be seen as one single large program consisting of smaller components that work together in order to accomplish a task and that, for the duration of that interaction, several smaller invariants have to be maintained. It is frequently the case that an attacker manages to subvert the behavior of a program in case the invariants for intermediary steps can be invalidated. Such invariants become difficult to track, especially when the programmer does not explicitly have security in mind. This thesis explores the mechanisms of concurrent interaction between concurrent processes and tries to bring some order to synchronization by studying attack patterns, not only at code level, but also from the perspective of abstract programming concepts.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software


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