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Language based web security: the operational semantics approach

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The goal of language based security is to develop applications that are provably secure by design. My recent research has focused on the development of programming-language and program-analysis techniques for enforcing web application security. In this talk I will describe the path from web technologies to formal models, and ultimately to security proofs. I will focus on two complementary JavaScript-related examples that lead to the discovery of fresh vulnerabilities in widely deployed web applications, such as Facebook, Yahoo!, FireFox, LastPass. These examples motivate an ongoing effort to mechanize the semantics of web programming languages: I will report on our progress on this front.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Cambridge, public talks series.

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