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FaCT: A Flexible, Constant-Time, Programming Language (2017) (
by nickpsecurity to crypto security programming compilers pdf on Feb 2, 2019 | 1 comment

Abstract: "We argue that C is unsuitable for writing timing-channel free cryptographic code that is both fast and readable. Readable implementations of crypto routines would contain high-level constructs like if statements, constructs that also introduce timing vulnerabilities. To avoid vulnerabilities, programmers must rewrite their code to dodge intuitive yet dangerous con-structs, cluttering the codebase and potentially introducing new errors. Moreover, even when programmers are diligent, compiler optimization passes may still introduce branches and other sources of timing side channels. This status quo is the worst of both worlds: tortured source code that can still yield vulnerable machine code. We propose to solve this problem with a domain-specific language that permits programmers to intuitively express crypto routines and reason about secret values, and a compiler that generates efficient, timing-channel free assembly code."


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