Advancement: Building Secure Distributed Applications

Speaker Name
Haofan Zheng
Speaker Title
Computer Science Ph.D. Student
Start Time
End Time
Virtual Event

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Description: The trifecta of information security contains Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. In a traditional application, confidentiality and integrity are guaranteed when data is cryptographically protected during transmission and computed on the trusted host. In addition, distributed applications can achieve higher availability by adding more nodes and improving hardware resources of each node. However, the confidentiality and integrity of the computation largely rely on the trustworthiness of the host where the distributed application is deployed.

Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), like enclaves, provides cryptographically protected memory region for both code and data, which allows the software vendor to deploy trusted code to untrusted hosts. A solution that simply combines TEE with distributed application seems able to provide all three guarantees at once. However, originally, enclaves are designed without distributed applications in mind. Thus, there is no way to simply combine the two without addressing the issues such as mutual attestation, remote attestation overhead, eclipse attack, and so on.

We propose Decent framework, which is used for building distributed applications with enclaves. Decent framework addresses all the issues when combining the enclave with distributed applications, so that it can provide all three guarantees of confidentiality, integrity, and availability, wherever the application is deployed.

Owen Arden
Graduate Program
Computer Science Ph.D.