[talks] Colloquium Speaker Xi Wang, Wed Feb 26, 4:30pm

Michele J. Brown mjbrown at CS.Princeton.EDU
Wed Feb 26 11:13:15 EST 2014

Xi Wang <http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/%7Exi/>, Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology <http://web.mit.edu/>
Wednesday, February 26, 4:30pm
Computer Science 105

Software bugs introduce security vulnerabilities into our 
computer systems.  To understand and mitigate an increasing number of 
bugs, practitioners categorize them into classes, such as buffer 
overflow or SQL injection, and handle each class separately.

This talk introduces a new class of bugs called unstable code: code that 
is unexpectedly discarded by compiler optimizations due to undefined 
behavior in the program.  I will discuss its prevalence and security 
impact in systems, and present a systematic approach for reasoning about 
unstable code, as well as a static checker called Stack that implements 
this approach to precisely identify unstable code in real systems. 
  Applying Stack to widely used software has uncovered 160 new bugs that 
have been confirmed and fixed by developers.  It has also been adopted 
by several companies to scan their codebases.

Xi Wang is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at MIT, advised by M. 
Frans Kaashoek and Nickolai Zeldovich.  His research interests are in 
building secure and reliable systems.  He was awarded a Best Paper Award 
at SOSP 2013, a Best Student Paper Award at EuroSys 2008, and an MIT 
Jacobs Presidential Fellowship in 2008.

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