Computer Science Department Colloquium
Leveraging kernel extensions for safe and efficient networking
Tuesday, December 07, 2021, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Speaker: Professor Srinivas Narayana
Srinivas Narayana is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University. His research goal is to enable developers to implement novel and flexible packet-processing applications, with guarantees of safety and high performance. To achieve this goal, he applies compiler and formal methods technology in domain-specific ways to network software and hardware. Srinivas received his M.A/Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University in 2016 and a B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2010. Srinivas completed a post-doc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018. Srinivas's research has been recognized with the best paper award at the 2017 ACM SIGCOMM conference, a Facebook research award, and grants from the National Science Foundation and the Network Programming Institute.
Location : Via Zoom
Event Type: Computer Science Department Colloquium
Abstract: Extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) is a mechanism that emerged recently in Linux to extend the functionality of the operating system kernel. eBPF allows users to download their code into the kernel and execute it at specific points of attachment within the kernel---for example, the network device driver. To mitigate security risks from running untrusted user code, the kernel implements software fault isolation through static program analysis, encapsulated into an in-kernel component called the verifier. Due to its trifecta of flexibility, safety, and performance in a familiar Linux environment, eBPF code is already widely deployed on production systems. However, programming networking applications in eBPF presents several new challenges. Optimizing compilers need to incorporate safety into their optimizations. Developers must wrestle with the arcane rules of the verifier to prove the safety of their code. The verifier's static analysis algorithms contained critical bugs, resulting in disastrous security consequences. This talk will cover my recent work (SIGCOMM'21, CGO'22) that addresses some of these challenges by combining networking with formal methods. Joint work with Qiongwen Xu, Harishankar Vishwanathan, Michael Wong, Tanvi Wagle, Anirudh Sivaraman, Matan Shachnai, and Santosh Nagarakatte.
Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences
Contact Host: Matthew Stone