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See detailPISTIS: From a Word-of-Mouth to a Gentleman’s Agreement
Kozhaya, David; Decouchant, Jérémie UL; Rahli, Vincent et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

The accelerated digitalisation of society along with technological evolution have extended the geographical span of cyber-physical systems. Two main threats have made the reliable and real-time control of ... [more ▼]

The accelerated digitalisation of society along with technological evolution have extended the geographical span of cyber-physical systems. Two main threats have made the reliable and real-time control of these systems challenging: (i) uncertainty in the communication infrastructure induced by scale, openness and heterogeneity of the environment and devices; and (ii) targeted attacks maliciously worsening the impact of the above-mentioned communication uncertainties, disrupting the correctness of real-time applications. This paper addresses those challenges by showing how to build distributed protocols that provide both real-time with practical performance, and scalability in the presence of network faults and attacks. We provide a suite of real-time Byzantine protocols, which we prove correct, starting from a reliable broadcast protocol, called PISTIS, up to atomic broadcast and consensus. This suite simplifies the construction of powerful distributed and decentralized monitoring and control applications, including state-machine replication. Extensive empirical evaluations show- case PISTIS’s robustness, latency, and scalability. For example, PISTIS can withstand message loss (and delay) rates up to 40% in systems with 49 nodes and provides bounded delivery latencies in the order of a few milliseconds. [less ▲]

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See detailPriLok:Citizen-protecting distributed epidemic tracing
Esteves-Verissimo, Paulo UL; Decouchant, Jérémie UL; Volp, Marcus UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

Contact tracing is an important instrument for national health services to fight epidemics. As part of the COVID-19 situation, many proposals have been made for scaling up contract tracing capacities with ... [more ▼]

Contact tracing is an important instrument for national health services to fight epidemics. As part of the COVID-19 situation, many proposals have been made for scaling up contract tracing capacities with the help of smartphone applications, an important but highly critical endeavor due to the privacy risks involved in such solutions. Extending our previously expressed concern, we clearly articulate in this article, the functional and non-functional requirements that any solution has to meet, when striving to serve, not mere collections of individuals, but the whole of a nation, as required in face of such potentially dangerous epidemics. We present a critical information infrastructure, PriLock, a fully-open preliminary architecture proposal and design draft for privacy preserving contact tracing, which we believe can be constructed in a way to fulfill the former requirements. Our architecture leverages the existing regulated mobile communication infrastructure and builds upon the concept of "checks and balances", requiring a majority of independent players to agree to effect any operation on it, thus preventing abuse of the highly sensitive information that must be collected and processed for efficient contact tracing. This is enforced with a largely decentralised layout and highly resilient state-of-the-art technology, which we explain in the paper, finishing by giving a security, dependability and resilience analysis, showing how it meets the defined requirements, even while the infrastructure is under attack. [less ▲]

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See detailBehind the Last Line of Defense -- Surviving SoC Faults and Intrusions
Pinto Gouveia, Ines UL; Volp, Marcus UL; Esteves-Verissimo, Paulo UL

E-print/Working paper (2020)

Today, leveraging the enormous modular power, diversity and flexibility of manycore systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) requires careful orchestration of complex resources, a task left to low-level software, e.g ... [more ▼]

Today, leveraging the enormous modular power, diversity and flexibility of manycore systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) requires careful orchestration of complex resources, a task left to low-level software, e.g. hypervisors. In current architectures, this software forms a single point of failure and worthwhile target for attacks: once compromised, adversaries gain access to all information and full control over the platform and the environment it controls. This paper proposes Midir, an enhanced manycore architecture, effecting a paradigm shift from SoCs to distributed SoCs. Midir changes the way platform resources are controlled, by retrofitting tile-based fault containment through well known mechanisms, while securing low-overhead quorum-based consensus on all critical operations, in particular privilege management and, thus, management of containment domains. Allowing versatile redundancy management, Midir promotes resilience for all software levels, including at low level. We explain this architecture, its associated algorithms and hardware mechanisms and show, for the example of a Byzantine fault tolerant microhypervisor, that it outperforms the highly efficient MinBFT by one order of magnitude. [less ▲]

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