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Efficient Code Certification for Open Firmware

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
55463
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
00SB2-0073
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
ATC - NY
33 Thornwood Drive, Suite 500 Ithaca, NY 14850-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Efficient Code Certification for Open Firmware
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: DAAH0102CR080
Award Amount: $374,994.00
 

Abstract:

Maliciously constructed boot firmware is a threat to our information infrastructure that has largely been ignored. Boot firmware controls the power-up procedure initializing a computer's hardware and loading its run-time system. This code, embedded inall third-party peripheral devices, can easily be corrupted and then exploited to undermine security engineering at the operating system, protocol, application, or enterprise levels. Authentication techniques (e.g., digital signatures) provide limitedprotection by ensuring the provenance of the firmware. This Phase II effort will develop and implement an alternative technique, Efficient Code Certification (ECC), that can establish the trustworthiness of code regardless of its origin. Our BootSafeverifier, based on ECC, will verify the safety of all boot firmware (before it is run) every time a system is booted. This verification relies on a certifying compiler that produces particularly well-structured code, so that a verifier can analyze itstatically. The user need only trust the verifier, a program that can be persuasively validated by inspection. By applying ECC to boot firmware based on the widely used Open Firmware standard (IEEE-1275) we can provide an effective countermeasure topotentially devastating attacks.

Principal Investigator:

Matthew Stillerman
Principal Scientist
6072571975
matt@oracorp.com

Business Contact:

Richard Smith
Controller
6072571975
rick@oracorp.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

ODYSSEY RESEARCH ASSOC., INC.
33 Thornwood Drive Ithaca, NY 14850

EIN/Tax ID: 161549760
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No