9 research outputs found

    Field-sensitive unreachability and non-cyclicity analysis

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    Field-sensitive static analyses of object-oriented code use approximations of the computational states where fields are taken into account, for better precision. This article presents a novel and sound definite analysis of Java bytecode that approximates two strictly related properties: field-sensitive unreachability between program variables and field-sensitive non-cyclicity of program variables. The latter exploits the former for better precision. We build a data-flow analysis based on constraint graphs, whose nodes are program points and whose arcs propagate information according to the semantics of each bytecode instruction. We follow abstract interpretation both to approximate the concrete semantics and to prove our results formally correct. Our analysis has been designed with the goal of improving client analyses such as termination analysis, asserting the non-cyclicity of variables with respect to specific fields

    Implementation-level analysis of cryptographic protocols and their applications to e-voting systems

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    Formal verification of security properties of both cryptographic operations, such as encryption, and protocols based on them, such as TLS, has been the goal of a substantial research effort in the last three decades. One fundamental limitation in the verification of these security properties is that analyses are typically carried out at the design level and hence they do not provide reliable guarantees on the implementations of these operations/protocols. To overcome this limitation, in this thesis we aim at establishing formally justified cryptographic guarantees directly at the implementation level for systems that are coded in Java and use cryptography. Our approach is based on a general framework for the cryptographic verification of Java programs (the CVJ framework) which formally links cryptographic indistinguishability properties and noninterference properties. In this way, it enables existing tools that can check standard noninterference properties, but a priori cannot deal with cryptography, to also establish cryptographic privacy properties for Java systems. The CVJ framework is stated and proven for a Java-like formal language which however does not cover all the data types and features commonly used in Java programs. Moreover, the framework originally supports only one cryptographic operation, namely public-key encryption. The first contribution of this thesis is hence to extend and to instantiate the CVJ framework in order to make it more widely applicable. We extend the underlying formal language with some features of Java which have not been captured yet, such as concurrency, and we restate and prove all the results of the framework to carry them over into this extended language. We then further instantiate the framework with additional cryptographic operations: digital signatures and public-key encryption, both now also including a public-key infrastructure, (private) symmetric encryption, and nonce generation. The methods and techniques developed within the CVJ framework are relevant and applicable independently of any specific tool employed. However, to illustrate the usefulness of this approach, we apply the framework along with two verification tools for Java programs, namely the fully automated static checker Joana and the interactive theorem prover KeY, to establish strong cryptographic privacy properties for systems which use cryptography, such as client-server applications and e-voting systems. In this context, the second major contribution of this thesis is the design, the implementation, and the deployment of a novel remote voting system called sElect (secure/simple elections). sElect is designed to be particularly simple and lightweight in terms of its structure, the cryptography it uses, and the user experience. One of its unique features is a fully automated procedure which does not require any user interaction and it is triggered as soon as voters look at the election result, allowing them to verify that their vote has been properly counted. The component of sElect which provides vote privacy is implemented in Java such that we can establish cryptographic guarantees directly on its implementation: by combining the techniques of the CVJ framework with a hybrid approach for proving noninterference, we are able to show that the Java implementation ensures strong cryptographic privacy of the votes cast with our proposed voting system. sElect is therefore the first full-fledged e-voting system with strong cryptographic security guarantees not only at the design level, but also on its implementation

    sElect: A Lightweight Verifiable Remote Voting System

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    Modern remote electronic voting systems, such as the prominent Helios system, are designed to provide vote privacy and verifiability, where, roughly speaking, the latter means that voters can make sure that their votes were actually counted. In this paper, we propose a new practical voting system called sElect (secure/simple elections). This system, which we implemented as a platform independent web-based application, is meant for low-risk elections and is designed to be particularly simple and lightweight in terms of its structure, the cryptography it uses, and the user experience. One of the unique features of sElect is that it supports fully automated verification, which does not require any user interaction and is triggered as soon as a voter looks at the election result. Despite its simplicity, we prove that this system provides a good level of privacy, verifiability, and accountability for low-risk elections

    Nutritional and phenotypical characterization of two South African maize (Zea mays L) varieties sampled in the Qwa-Qwa region

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    Zea mays L represents one of the main source of energy in the diet in many African countries, especially in the sub-Saharan regions. White maize varieties, characterized by the lack of carotenoids, are usually widely preferred in Africa for human consumption, and this contributes to the occurrence of Vitamin A deficiency; yellow varieties, often derived from commercial hybrids, are usually destined for animal feeding. In this study we characterized from the phenotypical and nutritional points of view one white and one yellow South African landrace maize cultivar obtained directly from the farmers in the rural region of Qwa-Qwa (Free State Province). Calorific value, oil, protein, starch, minerals, flavonoids and carotenoids content were determined, together with free and phytic phosphorus (P). Both of the varieties showed lower protein and Fe content in comparison to the ones used as control, and the yellow one also had a low content of Zn. The white variety was characterized by a higher free P content but also by a very low level of carotenoids. Our data show that there are no nutritional reasons to prefer the white variety for human consumption, with the exception of the large size of the seeds, which make them particularly adapted for milling; hence the nutritional value of these varieties, and in particular of the white one, should be improved (protein, Fe and carotenoids), contributing in this way to tackle the problem of malnutrition in South African rural areas
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