[Resource Topic] 2003/140: Trading-Off Type-Inference Memory Complexity Against Communication

Welcome to the resource topic for 2003/140

Trading-Off Type-Inference Memory Complexity Against Communication

Authors: Konstantin Hyppönen, David Naccache, Elena Trichina, Alexei Tchoulkine


While bringing considerable flexibility and extending the horizons
of mobile computing, mobile code raises major security issues.
Hence, mobile code, such as Java applets, needs to be analyzed
before execution. The byte-code verifier checks low-level security
properties that ensure that the downloaded code cannot bypass the
virtual machine’s security mechanisms. One of the statically
ensured properties is {\sl type safety}. The type-inference phase
is the overwhelming resource-consuming part of the verification

This paper addresses the RAM bottleneck met while verifying mobile
code in memory-constrained environments such as smart-cards. We
propose to modify classic type-inference in a way that
significantly reduces the memory consumption in the
memory-constrained device at the detriment of its distrusted
memory-rich environment.

The outline of our idea is the following, throughout execution,
the memory frames used by the verifier are MAC-ed and exported to
the terminal and then retrieved upon request. Hence a distrusted
memory-rich terminal can be safely used for convincing the
embedded device that the downloaded code is secure.

The proposed protocol was implemented on JCOP20 and JCOP30
Java cards using IBM’s JCOP development tool.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2003/140

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