Meta, the company that runs Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, announced the projects selected as part of the Security Research requests for proposals, a call sought by Meta to support independent research in information systems security.
Out of 136 proposals received from 88 academic institutions worldwide, Meta selected seven projects that will be supported through an unrestricted gift. The winning projects include "Cross-platform hardware-based integrity preservation", submitted by Professor Patrick Eugster , vice dean of USI Faculty of Informatics, and postdoctoral researcher Pavel Chuprikov. Universitą della Svizzera italiana and ETH Zurich are the only two non-North American universities with projects selected by Meta for this call.
The project presented by USI, explained prof. Eugster, proposes a software/hardware co-design architecture that leverages secure hardware to protect executed programmes from being tampered with, without however requiring programmes to be modified for that purpose. Meta is interested in this system especially for the WhatsApp platform. Besides significantly reducing efforts for creating new secure applications, this system also makes it easy to secure existing applications, and port applications between different secure hardware platforms.