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Program Analysis for Safe and Secure Software Evolution

Objective

Constant evolution is an inherent property of modern software systems. Software evolves to implement new features, adapt to new hardware and platforms, fix bugs and security vulnerabilities, or improve non-functional properties such as performance and energy consumption.

While these changes have an overall positive impact, they are also responsible for a large number of critical bugs and security attacks. The reason is twofold: first, software changes are not vetted enough, due to the difficulty of reasoning about all possible new behaviours that they introduce. Second, even when critical errors in deployed changes are later discovered and fixed, users take a long time to update their software to the latest version, mostly because they are concerned about the potential negative impact of an update.

The PASS project aims to tackle both problems and help software evolve safely and securely. It takes a holistic approach to the challenges of safe and secure software evolution, by combining offline program analysis to verify or comprehensively test software changes, with runtime mechanisms for keeping the software updated and secure against potentially erroneous changes that make it into the deployed system.

This is an ambitious project, which requires fundamental advances at the intersection of program analysis, software engineering, and computer systems to develop practical cross-version specifications, scalable patch verification, in-production testing and analysis, and low-overhead reversible software updates.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software/system software
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software

Call for proposal

ERC-2018-COG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
Address
South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 955 129

Beneficiaries (1)

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 955 129
Address
South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments