Formal Verification in the Centre for Cyber Trust

Learn how we apply and advance Formal Verification in the Centre

1 minute

In contrast to testing, formal verification ensures the correctness and security of software by constructing mathematical proofs that consider all possible executions of a program, even in the presence of a malicious attacker. Verification is thus a rigorous technique to increase trust in software.

Our centre applies verification both to software designs and to concrete programs. On both levels, we advance verification techniques and tools, and apply them to the solutions developed in the centre such as SOAP and ADEM. For example, our goal for ADEM is to prove that an asset is deemed protected only if ADEM successfully checked all necessary requirements for the associated emblem. The resulting proof will increase trust that ADEM provides the required security guarantees.

We advance formal verification in the following projects:

November 2023

Protocol Verification

Proving protocol implementations secure

Security protocol implementations are obiquitious. We use them daily to perform electronic payments, communicate with friends and coworkers, and they are even present in our electronic passports. However, designing and implementing security protocols is notoriously difficult. Since security protocols aim to secure communication against malicious attackers, usually active ones, all possible attacks have to be considered at design and implementation time. Subtle bugs, like forgetting a simple comparison check, can render an implementation completely insecure.

Our Research Projects

5 minutes

Cyclic Induction in Tamarin

How can Tamarin handle loops automatically?

Tamarin is a state-of-the art, automated protocol verifier that was used to prove real-world and complex protocols secure, for example, TLS 1.3 or 5G. Nevertheless, Tamarin only supports a limited induction mechanism. Induction is required to handle loops and unbounded data structures, which become more and more common in modern protocols such as in Signal and Certificate Transparency. In the Centre for Cyber Trust, we currently explore a new induction mechanism for Tamarin that implements so-called cyclic proofs.

Our Research Projects

1 minute

June 2023

Gobra: Modular Specification and Verification of Go Programs

Ensuring correct programs since 2019 🐍

Gobra is an automated, modular verifier for Go programs, based on the Viper verification infrastructure. Go is targeted at high performance applications running in potentially distributed settings and on multicore machines. Hence, Go provides some built-​​in concurrency primitives, like channel-​based communication. Gobra is intended to verify correctness and security properties of such programs, scaling to substantial codebases. Read More Visit our project website! Gobra’s initial publication is available here. Gobra is open-source.

Our Research Projects

1 minute