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Spark Research Lab

The Spark lab's mission is to build secure systems through novel architectures with help from operating systems and compilers.

Security work today is spread across the entire stack as well as across mobile devices and cloud servers. Increasingly sensitive programs will shortly run on shiny new hardware that promise to beat Dennard-scaling hurdles but have never met a threat model. All to say, this is a good time for computer architects and systems researchers to jump in.

Spark lab's current projects build a new security-plane for distributed applications. Our projects include building a new instruction-set (ISA) and micro-architecture that translates program-layer security properties into hardware implementations, and a container-orchestrator and compiler that maps distributed web- and micro-services on to our security-ISA. For example, one series of work has been to build hardware boxes that do not leak information, and then use this to put data into boxes instead of applications.

One near-term outcome of our research is to put users back in control of their own data, even if their data is computed on by untrusted applications and infrastructure. In the long term, we'll be on Mars and leave all non-secure computers here.