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[Colloquium] Software Protection and Assurance Using Process-level Virtualization

November 12, 2010

Watch Colloquium: 

M4V file (872 MB)


  • Date: Friday, November 12, 2010 
  • Time: 12noon — 12:50 pm 
  • Place: Centennial Engineering Center, Room 1041

Jeremy Van Cleve 
Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow Santa Fe Institute

In this talk, I give a brief introduction to software dynamic translation (SDT), a powerful technology that has proven useful for addressing various computer security issues. To illustrate the power and utility of software dynamic translation, I describe the application of software dynamic translation to two aspects of security cybersoftware protection and software assurance. Software protection is concerned with protecting intellectual property and preventing an adversary from tampering with a software application. Software assurance is concerned with ensuring that software is free from system vulnerabilities. I conclude the talk by briefly describing a new project, PEASOUP (Preventing Exploits against Software of Uncertain Provenance) that relies heavily on SDT. I enumerate some of the key research challenges that must be addressed for PEASOUP to be successful.

Bio: Jack Davidson is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty in 1981 after receiving his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Arizona. Professor Davidson’s research interests include compilers, programming languages, computer architecture, embedded systems, and computer security. He is the author of more than 140 papers in these fields. Professor Davidson’s current research is focused on computer security. He is the principal investigator on several ongoing grants from the National Science Foundation and other agencies to develop comprehensive methods for protecting software from malicious attacks.

Professor Davidson is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is past chair of ACM’s Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN). He currently serves as co-chair of ACM’s Publication Board, which oversees ACM’s portfolio of publications (39 journals, 4 magazines, and some 360 conferences) and the administration and development of the Digital Library.

Professor Davidson is co-author of two best-selling introductory programming textbooks, C++ Program Design: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming, 3rd edition and Java 5.0 Program Design: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming, 2nd edition. In 2008, he won the IEEE Computer Society Taylor L. Booth Education Award for excellence in computer science and engineering education. Professor Davidson is currently developing an innovative undergraduate curriculum focused on computer security.