Feeds

Protecting code's secrets wins ACM prize

Code obfuscation: a difficult problem apparently cracked

The essential guide to IT transformation

Better code obfuscation has attracted the attention of the prestigious Association of Computing Machinery, which has anointed an Indian-born developer working at IBM's TJ Watson Research Centre with an award for his work.

Protecting code, even as a binary, from being reverse-engineered is difficult: any solution that encrypts the code has to keep its functionality in place, and decrypting the code for execution has to be fast.

Sanjam Garg, an alumni of the Institute of Technology of Delhi, claims to have cracked that problem in this paper, Candidate Multilinear Maps from Ideal Lattices.

As that paper explains, bilinear maps are so well-known that their applications are “too numerous” to list – but (for example) tripartate Diffie-Hellman and identity-based encryption are two handy examples. Expanding that concept to multi-lineal maps has been theorised, Garg writes in his paper, but not previously achieved.

That work was then expanded on in collaboration between Garg and researchers from Microsoft, Boston University and UCLA, here, which demonstrated that Garg's concepts are workable for program obfuscation.

As they put it in the paper's abstract, Garg's work provides a “candidate obfuscator that cannot be broken by algebraic attacks”.

As the ACM notes: “Garg described new mathematical tools that serve as key ingredients for transforming a program into a 'jigsaw puzzle' of encrypted pieces. Corresponding to each input is a unique set of puzzle pieces that, when assembled, reveal the output of the program. Security of the obfuscated program hinges on the fact that illegitimate combinations of the puzzle pieces do not reveal anything.” ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?