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Introduction

I am a Ph.D. candidate working at INRIA in the Prosecco team, under the supervision of Karthikeyan Barghavan and Jonathan Protzenko. My research field is the formal verification of computer programs, which basically consists in applying mathematical analyses to programs in order to check that they behave in some well-defined manner, for example that an embedded system never crashes, or that a cryptographic protocol never reveals secret data such as private keys or passwords.

Motivation

My professional experience gave me the conviction that formal verification will become a necessity in computer security. Any vulnerability left in hardware and software is indeed of great concern when dealing with the safety of critical systems, the security of embedded systems, and the protection of our privacy. Considering the ambitious recent verification projects about compilers, cryptographic protocols, micro-kernels, or hardware components, I feel this academic field is achieving maturity. However, much work remains to democratize formal verification, since as of today it is extremely labor-intensive, mostly relies on experts manipulating advanced tools far remote from what regular programmers use, and still has many gaps regarding the verification of whole systems. I thus believe we have yet to create the tools which will be widely adopted tomorrow in the industry.