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Tutorials and References

What are Capabilities by Chip Morningstar

Tutorials — several short tutorials showing how to use E.

Category:Reference material — reference material on this wiki.

Quick Reference Card — Reminders of some useful patterns.

Language Reference


Books and Theses

Analysing the Security Properties of Object-Capability Patterns by Toby Murray.

Patterns of Safe Collaboration by Fred Spiessens.

Robust Composition: Towards a Unified Approach to Access Control and Concurrency Control by Mark S. Miller. Explains the rationale, philosophy, and goals of E and related systems.

Language and Framework Support for Reviewably-Secure Software Systems by Adrian Mettler.

Ambient References: Object Designation in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks by Tom Van Cutsem.

Towards First Class References as a Security Infrastructure in Dynamically-Typed Languages by Arnaud Jean-Baptiste

Semantics and Types for Safe Web Programming by Arjun Guha

Object-Capability Security in Virtual Environments by Martin Scheffler

Image:EWalnut-small.gif E in a Walnut by Marc Stiegler - This is a basic tutorial on the E language covering basic, distributed, and secure distributed programming.

Safe Serialization Under Mutual Suspicion (Wiki conversion in progress)


Smart Contracting

Distributed Electronic Rights in JavaScript - paper for ESOP'13 Keynote, by Miller, Tom Van Cutsem, and Bill Tulloh.

Capability-based Financial Instruments "An Ode to the Granovetter Diagram" - diagramming communication relationships.

Mashing with Permission by Tyler Close.

The Digital Path by Mark Miller and Marc Stiegler.

Formal Methods

Robust and Compositional Verification of Object Capability Patterns by David Swasey, Deepak Garg, Derek Dreyer

Permission and Authority Revisited: towards a formalization by Sophia Drossopoulou, James Noble, Mark S. Miller, Toby Murray

Reasoning about Risk and Trust in an Open World by Sophia Drossopoulou, James Noble, Toby Murray, Mark S. Miller

Analysing the Security Properties of Object-Capability Patterns by Toby Murray.

Automated Analysis of Security-critical JavaScript APIs by Ankur Taly, Ulfar Erlingsson, Mark S. Miller, John C. Mitchell, and Jasvir Nagra

Authority Analysis for Least Privilege Environments by Toby Murray and Gavin Lowe.

Patterns of Safe Collaboration by Fred Spiessens.

Dynamic Detection of Object Capability Violations Through Model Checking by Dustin Rhodes, Tim Disney, Cormac Flanagan

Necessity specifications for robustness by Julian Mackay, Susan Eisenbach, James Noble, Sophia Drossopoulou

Access Control

Capability Myths Demolished by Mark S. Miller, Ka-Ping Yee, and Jonathan Shapiro. What you may have learned in CS class is wrong.

ACLs don't by Tyler Close.

Tahoe – The Least-Authority Filesystem by Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn and Brian Warner.

A Capability-Based Module System for Authority Control by Melicher, Darya ; Shi, Yangqingwei ; Potanin, Alex ; Aldrich, Jonathan

Taming of Pict by Matej Košík. See also Standard Library of Tamed Pict Programming Language.

Non-delegatable authorities in capability systems by Toby Murray and Gavin Lowe. (ACM link)

MinorFs by Rob Meijer. The MinorFs user-space filesystems works with AppArmor to provide a flexible form of discretionary access control.

Access Control by Ben Laurie.

Verifiable Functional Purity in Java by Matthew Finifter, Adrian Mettler, Naveen Sastry, and David Wagner.

Joe-E: A Security-Oriented Subset of Java by Adrian Mettler, David Wagner, and Tyler Close.

Fine-Grained Privilege Separation for Web Applications by Akshay Krishnamurthy, Adrian Mettler, and David Wagner.

Class Properties for Security Review in an Object-Capability Subset of Java (Short Paper) by Adrian Mettler and David Wagner.

LaCasa: Lightweight Affinity and Object Capabilities in Scala by Philipp Haller and Alex Loiko

Secret Handshake : Key Exchange as a Capability System by Dominic Tarr

Concurrency Control

Concurrency Among Strangers: Programming in E as Plan Coordination - by Mark S. Miller, E. Dean Tribble, Jonathan Shapiro. Explains E's concurrency control & distributed computing model.

Causeway: A message-oriented distributed debugger by Terry Stanley, Tyler Close, and Mark S. Miller.

User Interface

User Interaction Design for Secure Systems by Ka-Ping Yee.

Rich Sharing for the Web by Marc Stiegler. What properties must computer-based human-to-human sharing mechanisms need to support, so that people don't just send email attachments instead?

Are you sure? Yes. Oops! by Marc Stiegler and Alan Karp. Even a yes-no approval choice can be less hazardous.

Making Policy Decisions Disappear into the User's Workflow by Alan Karp, Marc Stiegler. Structure user interactions so useful actions also express the access they would seem to.

Not One Click for Security by Alan Karp, Marc Stiegler, and Tyler Close. Describes how the ScoopFS (secure cooperative file sharing) UI design avoids ever presenting the user any interaction whose only purpose is security.

Polaris: Virus Safe Computing for Windows XP by Marc Stiegler, Alan Karp, Ka-Ping Yee, Mark Miller. Abusing the access control of legacy ACL OSes to implement less authority.

Belay Research by Mark Lentczner. Secure ui principles for apps within the browser.

Immunity from Viruses, Safety from Geeks Bearing Gifts by Mark S. Miller, 2002, invited talk at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey CA. CapDesk and DarpaBrowser are secure UIs with the same designation-as-authorization logic as ocap languages and OSes.

Talks and Presentations

Holistic Specifications of Robust Programs slides for talk by Sophia Drossopoulou IFIP WG 2.3 May 2018, on joint work with James Noble, Toby Murray, and Mark S. Miller.

Towards Reasoning About Risk and Trust in an Open World talk by Sophia Drossopoulou and James Noble, Google March 2016, on joint work with Toby Murray, and Mark S. Miller (paper)

Security with Scala: Refined Types and Object Capabilities - talk by Will Sargent at Scala Days 2018.

Stopping Exfiltration - talk by Mark S. Miller at friam, redo from talk at tc39 May 2018.

Verify What? Navigating the Attack Surface - talk by Mark S. Miller at workshop Formal Methods meets JavaScript (Imperial College March 2018)

Extremely Modular Distributed JavaScript - vision talk by Mark S. Miller at July 2017 TC39 (EcmaScript committee) meeting.

The Elements of Decision Alignment: Large programs as complex organizations - talk by Mark S. Miller at UCI in 2017.

Towards Reasoning about Risk and Trust in an Open World talk by Sophia Drossopoulou and James Noble given at Google 2016, on joint work with Toby Murray and Mark S. Miller.

Frozen Realms: Draft standard support for safer JavaScript plugins - talk by Mark S. Miller at the IWACO workshop of ECOOP 2016.

Computer Security as the Future of Law - talk by Mark S. Miller at the 1997 Extro 3 Conference.

Two Phase Commit Among Strangers - talk by Mark S. Miller at JSTools (year?). (slides)

Interview with Mark S. Miller - about Smart Contracts, Prediction, Singularities, and more.

The Lazy Programmer's Guide to Secure Computing by Marc Stiegler

Part 1: Secure Distributed Programming with Object-capabilities in JavaScript by Mark S. Miller (slides)

Part 2: Bringing Object-orientation to Security Programming by Mark S. Miller (slides)

Remaining Hazards and Mitigating Patterns for Secure Mashups in EcmaScript 5 by Mark Miller (slides)

Object-Capabilities for Security by David Wagner (slides from an earlier version of this talk)

Core Patterns for Web Permissions by Tyler Close

Object Capabilities and Isolation of Untrusted Web Applications (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) by Sergio Maffeis

Secure Collaboration - How Web Applications can Share and Still Be Paranoid by Mike Samuel

Google TechTalk: Caja by Mike Samuel

The Lively Kernel by Dan Ingalls

Gears and the Mashup Problem by Douglas Crockford

Desktops to Donuts: Object-Caps Across Scales by Marc Stiegler

The Virus Safe Computing Initiative at HP Labs by Alan Karp

Important emails

On the Spread of the Capability Approach by Bill Tulloh

Other collections

Awesome Object Capabilities and Capability-based Security by Dan Connolly

Gravity Reading List

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