Trustworthy Systems

Your system is secure? Prove it!


Gernot Heiser



Open Kernel Labs


Computer security is an old problem which has lost none of its relevance — as is evidenced by the annual Security issue of ;login:. The systems research community has increased its attention to security issues in recent years, as can be seen by an increasing number of security-related papers published in the mainstream systems conferences SOSP, OSDI, and USENIX. However, the focus is primarily on desktop and server systems.

I have argued two years ago in this place that security of embedded systems, whether mobile phones, smart cards, or automobiles, is a looming problem of even bigger proportions, yet there does not seem to be a great sense of urgency about it. Although there are embedded operating-system (OS) vendors working on certifying their offerings to some of the highest security standards, those systems do not seem to be aimed at, or even suitable for, mobile wireless devices.

BibTeX Entry

    author           = {Heiser, Gernot},
    journal          = {USENIX ;login:},
    month            = dec,
    pages            = {35---38},
    paperurl         = {},
    title            = {Your system is secure? Prove it!},
    volume           = {32(6)},
    year             = {2007}