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  1. Holz, Thorsten ; Ristenpart, Thomas (Ed.)
    Spectre vulnerabilities violate our fundamental assumptions about architectural abstractions, allowing attackers to steal sensitive data despite previously state-of-the-art countermeasures. To defend against Spectre, developers of verification tools and compiler-based mitigations are forced to reason about microarchitectural details such as speculative execution. In order to aid developers with these attacks in a principled way, the research community has sought formal foundations for speculative execution upon which to rebuild provable security guarantees.This paper systematizes the community’s current knowledge about software verification and mitigation for Spectre. We study state-of-the-art software defenses, both with and without associated formal models, and use a cohesive framework to compare the security properties each defense provides. We explore a wide variety of tradeoffs in the expressiveness of formal frameworks, the complexity of defense tools, and the resulting security guarantees. As a result of our analysis, we suggest practical choices for developers of analysis and mitigation tools, and we identify several open problems in this area to guide future work on grounded software defenses. 
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    Differential privacy is a mathematical framework for developing statistical computations with provable guarantees of privacy and accuracy. In contrast to the privacy component of differential privacy, which has a clear mathematical and intuitive meaning, the accuracy component of differential privacy does not have a generally accepted definition; accuracy claims of differential privacy algorithms vary from algorithm to algorithm and are not instantiations of a general definition. We identify program discontinuity as a common theme in existing ad hoc definitions and introduce an alternative notion of accuracy parametrized by, what we call, — the of an input x w.r.t.  a deterministic computation f and a distance d , is the minimal distance d ( x , y ) over all y such that f ( y )≠ f ( x ). We show that our notion of accuracy subsumes the definition used in theoretical computer science, and captures known accuracy claims for differential privacy algorithms. In fact, our general notion of accuracy helps us prove better claims in some cases. Next, we study the decidability of accuracy. We first show that accuracy is in general undecidable. Then, we define a non-trivial class of probabilistic computations for which accuracy is decidable (unconditionally, or assuming Schanuel’s conjecture). We implement our decision procedure and experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of our approach for generating proofs or counterexamples of accuracy for common algorithms from the literature. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Sensitivity properties describe how changes to the input of a program affect the output, typically by upper bounding the distance between the outputs of two runs by a monotone function of the distance between the corresponding inputs. When programs are probabilistic, the distance between outputs is a distance between distributions. The Kantorovich lifting provides a general way of defining a distance between distributions by lifting the distance of the underlying sample space; by choosing an appropriate distance on the base space, one can recover other usual probabilistic distances, such as the Total Variation distance. We develop a relational pre-expectation calculus to upper bound the Kantorovich distance between two executions of a probabilistic program. We illustrate our methods by proving algorithmic stability of a machine learning algorithm, convergence of a reinforcement learning algorithm, and fast mixing for card shuffling algorithms. We also consider some extensions: using our calculus to show convergence of Markov chains to the uniform distribution over states and an asynchronous extension to reason about pairs of program executions with different control flow. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Computer-aided cryptography is an active area of research that develops and applies formal, machine-checkable approaches to the design, analysis, and implementation of cryptography. We present a cross-cutting systematization of the computer-aided cryptography literature, focusing on three main areas: (i) design-level security (both symbolic security and computational security), (ii) functional correctness and efficiency, and (iii) implementation-level security (with a focus on digital side-channel resistance). In each area, we first clarify the role of computer-aided cryptography---how it can help and what the caveats are---in addressing current challenges. We next present a taxonomy of state-of-the-art tools, comparing their accuracy, scope, trustworthiness, and usability. Then, we highlight their main achievements, trade-offs, and research challenges. After covering the three main areas, we present two case studies. First, we study efforts in combining tools focused on different areas to consolidate the guarantees they can provide. Second, we distill the lessons learned from the computer-aided cryptography community's involvement in the TLS 1.3 standardization effort. Finally, we conclude with recommendations to paper authors, tool developers, and standardization bodies moving forward. 
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  6. Differential privacy is a de facto standard for statistical computations over databases that contain private data. Its main and rather surprising strength is to guarantee individual privacy and yet allow for accurate statistical results. Thanks to its mathematical definition, differential privacy is also a natural target for formal analysis. A broad line of work develops and uses logical methods for proving privacy. A more recent and complementary line of work uses statistical methods for finding privacy violations. Although both lines of work are practically successful, they elide the fundamental question of decidability. This paper studies the decidability of differential privacy. We first establish that checking differential privacy is undecidable even if one restricts to programs having a single Boolean input and a single Boolean output. Then, we define a non-trivial class of programs and provide a decision procedure for checking the differential privacy of a program in this class. Our procedure takes as input a program P parametrized by a privacy budget ϵ and either establishes the differential privacy for all possible values of ϵ or generates a counter-example. In addition, our procedure works for both to ϵ-differential privacy and (ϵ, δ)-differential privacy. Technically, the decision procedure is based on a novel and judicious encoding of the semantics of programs in our class into a decidable fragment of the first-order theory of the reals with exponentiation. We implement our procedure and use it for (dis)proving privacy bounds for many well-known examples, including randomized response, histogram, report noisy max and sparse vector. 
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  7. Adversarial computations are a widely studied class of computations where resource-bounded probabilistic adversaries have access to oracles, i.e., probabilistic procedures with private state. These computations arise routinely in several domains, including security, privacy and machine learning. In this paper, we develop program logics for reasoning about adversarial computations in a higher-order setting. Our logics are built on top of a simply typed λ-calculus extended with a graded monad for probabilities and state. The grading is used to model and restrict the memory footprint and the cost (in terms of oracle calls) of computations. Under this view, an adversary is a higher-order expression that expects as arguments the code of its oracles. We develop unary program logics for reasoning about error probabilities and expected values, and a relational logic for reasoning about coupling-based properties. All logics feature rules for adversarial computations, and yield guarantees that are valid for all adversaries that satisfy a fixed resource policy. We prove the soundness of the logics in the category of quasi-Borel spaces, using a general notion of graded predicate liftings, and we use logical relations over graded predicate liftings to establish the soundness of proof rules for adversaries. We illustrate the working of our logics with simple but illustrative examples. 
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  8. The constant-time discipline is a software-based countermeasure used for protecting high assurance cryptographic implementations against timing side-channel attacks. Constant-time is effective (it protects against many known attacks), rigorous (it can be formalized using program semantics), and amenable to automated verification. Yet, the advent of micro-architectural attacks makes constant-time as it exists today far less useful. This paper lays foundations for constant-time programming in the presence of speculative and out-of-order execution. We present an operational semantics and a formal definition of constant-time programs in this extended setting. Our semantics eschews formalization of microarchitectural features (that are instead assumed under adversary control), and yields a notion of constant-time that retains the elegance and tractability of the usual notion. We demonstrate the relevance of our semantics in two ways: First, by contrasting existing Spectre-like attacks with our definition of constant-time. Second, by implementing a static analysis tool, Pitchfork, which detects violations of our extended constant-time property in real world cryptographic libraries. 
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