CSE Seminar or Event

Balancing Security-Privacy and Functionality in Software Synthesis

Somesh Jha

University of Wisconsin Madison
Monday, January 08, 2018
10:30am - 11:30am
3725 Beyster

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About the Event

The problem of implementing a secure program is an ideal problem domain for formal methods. In this talk, I will be using security as a term that encompasses traditional security concepts and also privacy. Even a small error in the logic of a program can drastically weaken the security and privacy guarantees that it provides. Existing work on applying formal methods to security has focused primarily on applying verification techniques to determine if an existing program satisfies a desired security guarantee. However, the challenge is to synthesize correct software from the outset. However, the key issue here is to balance security and functionality (a secure software that does nothing is easy to synthesize. Just do nothing.)

In this work, I will describe some of the projects that I have worked on that balance the two competing requirements (i.e., security-privacy and functionality). I will then describe some interesting open problems along these lines.


Somesh Jha received his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi in Electrical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1996. Currently, Somesh Jha is the Grace Wahba Professor in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), which he joined in 2000. His work focuses on analysis of security protocols, survivability analysis, intrusion detection, formal methods for security, and analyzing malicious code. Recently, he has also worked on privacy-preserving protocols and adversarial machine learning. Somesh Jha has published over 150 articles in highly-refereed conferences and prominent journals. He has also won numerous best-paper awards. Somesh also received the NSF career award in 2005 and became an ACM fellow and IEEE fellow in 2017.

Additional Information

Sponsor(s): CSE

Faculty Sponsor: Karem Sakallah

Open to: Public