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Tuesday, August 20 • 1:45pm - 2:25pm
Writing Linux Kernel Modules in Safe Rust - Geoffrey Thomas, Two Sigma Investments & Alex Gaynor, Alloy*

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With 65% of recent Linux kernel vulnerabilities being the result of memory unsafety (buffer overflows, pointers used after being freed, etc.) and not logic errors, both kernel developers and downstream users have wondered whether it's possible to use a safer language than C for kernel development. This talk will explore the presenters' work building a framework for writing kernel modules in Rust and accessing kernel APIs in safe Rust. In particular, the talk will discuss some of the challenges of building binary-compatible kernel modules in Rust, techniques for working with existing C code, and how to design safe bindings over raw kernel APIs. It will also discuss advantages and difficulties for integrating Rust in upstream kernel development and possible directions the upstream kernel community could go.


Alex Gaynor

Staff Software Engineer and CISO, Alloy
Alex is currently Chief Information Security Officer at Alloy, a startup working on data infrastructure for politics. Before that, he was tech lead for Firefox sandboxing, and before that an engineer at the US Digital Service. He's active in the open source community, contributing... Read More →

Geoffrey Thomas

Geoffrey Thomas is a software engineer with interests in operating systems infrastructure and computer security, a Debian maintainer, and a contributor to various Rust and Python projects. He cohosts Loose Leaf Security, a podcast about practical digital security for a broad audience... Read More →

Tuesday August 20, 2019 1:45pm - 2:25pm PDT
Sapphire D
  Refereed Presentation
  • Session Slides Included Yes