Mark S. Miller, Main designer of the E and Caja

Mark S. Miller

Biography: Mark S. Miller

Mark S. Miller is a research scientist at Google, main designer of the E and Caja programming languages, a pioneer of agoric (market-based secure distributed) computing, an architect of the Xanadu hypertext publishing system, and a representative to the EcmaScript committee.
Software passion: Lowering the risk of cooperation makes for a more cooperative world

Presentation: "Expressing security constraints using capabilities"

Track: CONCURRENCY & INTEGRITY / Time: Tuesday 14:45 - 15:45 / Location: Filuren, Musikhuset

Just as we should not expect our base programming language to provide all the data types we need, so we should not expect our security foundation to provide all the abstractions we need to express security policy. The answer to both is the same: We need foundations that provide simple abstraction mechanisms, which we use to build an open ended set of abstractions, which we then use to express policy. The abstraction mechanisms provided by object-capabilities are familiar from object-oriented programming: encapsulation, message-passing, polymorphism, and interposition. Using only these simple object concepts, we show how to build abstractions for confinement, rights amplification, transitive wrapping and revocation, responsibility tracking, and smart contracts.
Keywords: Patterns, robust, secure, standard, object-capabilities

Target audience: Programmers interested in writing secure code expressing security abstractions and policies.

Presentation: "Securing EcmaScript 5"

Track: MAIN STREAM LANGUAGES / Time: Wednesday 13:30 - 14:30 / Location: Lille Sal, Archauz

Until now, JavaScript has been one of the leakiest languages ever, and efforts to secure it have either been herculean (Caja, MSWebSandbox) or severely limiting (ADsafe, FBJS, Jacaranda). With the coming of EcmaScript 5, JavaScript has become an easily securable language, able to support safe mashups using the object-capability security model. Upcoming changes approved for EcmaScript Harmony, JavaScript becomes a flexible platform for expressing security policies. Throughout, we have pursued the premise that "Security is just extreme modularity". This talk will review the changes from EcmaScript 3 to 5 to Harmony, and explain how each contributes both to security and to better software engineering. We end with a brief overview of proposed Distributed Resilient Secure EcmaScript (Dr. SES).
Keywords: JavaScript, EcmaScript, robust, secure, standard, object-capabilities

Target audience
: Programmers interested in using JavaScript, on either client or server, who want to understand how the new EcmaScript standard helps them write robustly composable code.