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UEL researcher Dr Paolo Falcarin has been awarded over €460,000 to lead research on developing solutions for software protection as part of a major EU project.
The €3M ASPIRE (Advanced Software Protection: Integration, Research and Exploitation) project is a three-year research programme funded by the European Commission to improve mobile software security.
The project addresses a major issue concerning the security of mobile services in application domains like multi-screen mobile TV, software licensing, and credentials and sensitive data stored on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, whereby security solutions based on custom hardware (e.g., smart cards, set-top boxes, and dongles), are no longer feasible.
The ASPIRE consortium includes three market leaders in ICT security and three other research institutions from Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France.
Dr Falcarin and his fellow researchers will investigate solutions to make mobile software security more trustworthy, cheaper, measurable and easy to integrate. They aim to develop techniques which provide software protection that matches the strength of existing hardware, reinforcing lines of defence such as obfuscation and information hiding, anti-tampering code, remote attestation, software diversity and renewability.
UEL will lead on research to develop a network-based approach to enable part of an application code to sit on a trusted server that is not accessible to an attacker, and in the security modelling and evaluation of the new protections.
Dr Paolo Falcarin, who will lead the UEL research, says: “Our ultimate goal is to provide software protection that is equally strong as existing hardware-based protections. We therefore propose to develop different protections techniques and we will integrate them into the ASPIRE Tool-Chain; in order to model and assess their effectiveness, we will validate it on three real-world use cases from the industrial project partners, and in a public challenge.”