[THESIS DEFENSE] Cyril Bresch - "Approaches, Strategies, and Implementations of Memory Safety Defenses in Critical and Constrained Embedded Systems"

on the October 16, 2020

14:00 - ESISAR (Valence), room A042

Cyril Bresch will defend his PhD Thesis entitled "Approaches, Strategies, and Implementations of Memory Safety Defenses in Critical and Constrained Embedded Systems" supervised by David Hély, Stéphanie Chollet and Ioannis Parissis. The defense will take place at 2pm (UTC+2) on Friday, October 16, 2020 in room A042 at Esisar. 50 rue Barthélemy-de-Laffemas, 26000 Valence, France

Thesis summary

"This thesis deals with the memory safety issue in life-critical medical devices. Over the last few years, several vulnerabilities such as memory exploits have been identified in various Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices. In the worst case, such vulnerabilities allow an attacker to remotely force an application to execute malicious actions. While many countermeasures against software exploits have been proposed so far, only a few of them seem to be suitable for medical devices. Indeed, these devices are constrained by their size, real-time performances, and safety requirements making the integration of security challenging. To address this issue, the thesis proposes two approaches. Both address the memory safety issue from the software design-time to its run-time on the hardware. A first approach assumes that memory defenses can be implemented both in hardware and software. This approach results in TrustFlow, a framework composed of a compiler able to generate secure code for an extended processor that can prevent, detect, log, and self-heal critical applications from memory attacks. The second approach considers that hardware is immutable. Following this constraint, defenses only rely upon software. This second approach results in BackGuard a modified compiler that efficiently
hardens embedded applications while ensuring control-flow integrity."

Defense jury

  • Aurélien Francillon - Professor Eurocom (Reporter)
  • Sébastien Pillement - Professor University of Nantes (Rapporteur)
  • Marie-Laure Potet - Professor Grenoble Alpes University (Examiner)
  • Giorgio Di Natale - CNRS Research Director (Examiner)
  • Roman Lysecky – Professor University of Arizona (Invited)

Health context

To strictly respect the barrier gestures, the participants will have to wear the mask in the establishment and during the entire duration of the defense.
Due to the sanitary conditions, the room will accomodate a limited number of people. Please contact David HÉLY (see below) if you wish to attend the presentation in person (number of people and names) or remotely (via Zoom).
Published on November 19, 2020

Practical informations


David HÉLY