“New Software Abstractions for Hardware Security Technology” Workshop

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From October 1-4, 2023, Matti Schulze and Jonas Röckl took part in the workshop “New Software Abstractions for Hardware Security Technology” at Ascona in Switzerland. Prof. Pascal Felber (University of Neuchâtel) and his co-organizers Prof. Rüdiger Kapitza (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg) and Prof. Christof Fetzer (TU Dresden) invited the participants to discuss new ideas and challenges for how to create abstractions, methodologies, and building blocks that will enable future trustworthy and secure software systems. Inspired by the beautiful scenery of Monte Verità, Matti Schulze and Jonas Röckl attended talks and discussion rounds from high-profile speakers from academia and industry alike.

The first day focused on how future hardware architectures support confidential computing. Researchers from all three major CPU manufacturers (Intel, AMD, and ARM) provided valuable firsthand information on the latest developments in the research field. In the following days, the focus shifted to which novel software abstractions one could build, potentially offering solutions to current challenges on system security. On the last day, the young researchers could present their research in front of experienced researchers. Jonas Röckl presented his work on resetting IoT devices to a trustworthy system state even after significant parts are compromised. The workshop closed by collaboratively creating a manifesto describing the current state and future challenges of confidential computing.

Our lab thanks the organizers for this excellent and highly informative workshop, which allowed Matti Schulze and Jonas Röckl to meet numerous renowned researchers. Furthermore, we specifically would like to thank Prof. Kapitza for inviting members from the IT security infrastructures lab and, thus, strengthening the collaboration between FAU’s lab of system software (Prof. Kapitza) and our lab.