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Columbia Team Builds Hacker-Resistant Cloud Software System


cloud computing concept, illustration

Credit: Getty Images

Columbia University researchers have developed a system that guarantees — through a mathematical proof — the security of virtual machines in the cloud.

They discuss the system in "A Secure and Formally Verified Linux KVM Hypervisor," to be presented at the 42nd IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy on Wednesday (May 26).

"This is the first time that a real-world multiprocessor software system has been shown to be mathematically correct and secure," says Jason Nieh, professor of computer science at Columbia. "This means that users' data are correctly managed by software running in the cloud and are safe from security bugs and hackers."

The work is the first to verify the widely-used KVM hypervisor, which is used to run virtual machines by cloud providers. "We've shown that our system can protect and secure private data and computing uploaded to the cloud with mathematical guarantees," says Xupeng Li, a Ph.D. student and co-lead author of the paper.

From Columbia University
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