AdaCore Blog

An Insight Into the AdaCore Ecosystem

by Claire Dross

Handling Aliasing through Pointers in SPARK

As I explained in a blog post a couple of years ago, pointers are subjected to a strict ownership policy in SPARK. It prevents aliasing and allows for an efficient formal verification model. Of course, it comes at the cost of restrictions which might not be applicable to all usage. In particular, while ownership makes it possible to represent certain recursive data-structures, those involving cycles or sharing are de-facto forbidden. This is a choice, and not every proof tool did the same. For example, the WP plug-in of Frama-C supports pointers with arbitrary aliasing. If some information about the separation of memory cells is necessary to verify a program, then the user shall give the annotation explicitly. I have investigated modeling pointers with aliasing in SPARK as indices in a big memory array. I will present the results of my experiments in this blog post. We will see that, while such a representation is indeed possible modulo some hiding in SPARK, it can quickly become rather heavy in practice.

#SPARK    #Data Structures    #Formal Verification   

by Yannick Moy , Claire Dross

Proving the Correctness of GNAT Light Runtime Library

The GNAT light runtime library is a version of the runtime library targeted at embedded platforms and certification, which has been certified for use at the highest levels of criticality in several industrial domains. It contains around 180 units focused mostly on I/O, numerics, text manipulation, memory operations. We have used SPARK to prove the correctness of 40 of them: that the code is free of runtime errors, and that it satisfies its functional specifications.

#SPARK    #Runtime    #Proof   

by Quentin Ochem , Florian Gilcher

AdaCore and Ferrous Systems Joining Forces to Support Rust

For over 25 years, AdaCore has been committed to supporting the needs of safety- and mission-critical industries. This started with an emphasis on the Ada programming language and its toolchain, and over the years has been extended to many other technologies. AdaCore’s product offerings today include support for the Ada language and its formally verifiable SPARK subset, C and C++, and Simulink and Stateflow models. We have accomplished this while addressing the requirements of various safety standards such as DO-178B/C, EN 50128, ECSS-E-ST-40C / ECSS-Q-ST-80C, IEC 61508 and ISO 26262.

by Fabien Chouteau

Ada/SPARK Crate Of The Year 2021 Winners Announced!

In June of 2021 we announced the launch of a new programming competition called Ada/SPARK Crate Of The Year Awards. We believe the Alire source package manager is a game changer for Ada/SPARK, so we want to use this competition to reward the people contributing to the ecosystem. Today we are pleased to announce the results. But first, we want to congratulate all the participants, and the Alire community at large, for reaching 200 crates in the ecosystem in January of this year. We truly believe in a bright future for the Ada/SPARK open-source ecosystem with Alire at the forefront. Reaching this milestone is a great sign, inside and outside the Ada/SPARK community, of the evolution and the energy of the ecosystem.

by Yannick Moy

SPARKNaCl - Two Years of Optimizing Crypto Code in SPARK (and counting)

SPARKNaCl is a SPARK ver­sion of the Tweet­Na­Cl cryp­to­graph­ic library, developed by formal methods and security expert Rod Chapman. For two years now, Rod has been developing and optimizing this open-source cryptographic library while preserving the automatic type-safety proof across code changes and tool updates. He has recently given a talk about this experience that I highly recommend.

#SPARK    #Cryptography    #Formal Verification   

by Paul Butcher

Fuzz Testing in International Aerospace Guidelines

Through the HICLASS UK research group, AdaCore has been developing security-focused software development tools that are aligned with the objectives stated within the avionics security standards. In addition, they have been developing further guidelines that describe how vulnerability identification and security assurance activities can be described within a Plan for Security Aspects of Certification.

#Fuzzing    #Cyber Security    #Civil Avionics    #DO-356A    #ED-203A   

by Yannick Moy

Enhancing the Security of a TCP Stack with SPARK

The developers of CycloneTCP library at Oryx Embedded partnered with AdaCore to replace the TCP part of the C codebase by SPARK code, and used the SPARK tools to prove both that the code is not vulnerable to the usual runtime errors (like buffer overflow) and that it correctly implements the TCP automaton specified in RFC 793. As part of this work, we found two subtle bugs related to memory management and concurrency. This work has been accepted for publication at the upcoming IEEE SecDev 2021 conference.

#SPARK    #Security    #Formal Verification   

by Pat Rogers

Task Suspension with a Timeout in Ravenscar/Jorvik

This blog entry shows how to define an abstract data type that allows tasks to block on objects of the type, waiting for resumption signals from other components, for at most a specified amount of time per object. This "timeout" capability has been available in Ada from the beginning, via select statements containing timed entry calls. But what about developers working within the Ravenscar and Jorvik tasking subsets? Select statements and timed calls are not included within either profile. This new abstraction will provide some of the functionality of timed entry calls, with an implementation consistent with the Ravenscar and Jorvik subsets.

#Ada    #Tasking    #Ravenscar    #Jorvik    #Timeouts    #Timing_Event    #Suspension_Object   

by Yannick Moy

When the RISC-V ISA is the Weakest Link

NVIDIA has been using SPARK for some time now to develop safety- and security-critical firmware applications. At the recent DEF CON 29, hackers Zabrocki and Matrosov presented how they went about attacking NVIDIA firmware written in SPARK but ended up attacking the RISC-V ISA instead!Zabrocki starts by explaining the context for their red teaming exercise at NVIDIA, followed by a description of SPARK and their evaluation of the language from a security attack perspective. He shows how they used an extension of Ghidra to decompile the binary code generated by GNAT and describes the vulnerability they identified in the RISC-V ISA thanks to that decompilation. Matrosov goes on to explain how they glitched the NVIDIA chip to exploit this vulnerability. Finally, Zabrocki talks about projects used to harden RISC-V platforms.

#Security    #SPARK    #RISC-V   

by Kyriakos Georgiou

Security-Hardening Software Libraries with Ada and SPARK

Part of AdaCore's ongoing efforts under the HICLASS project is to demonstrate how the SPARK technology can play an integral part in the security-hardening of existing software libraries written in other non-security-oriented programming languages such as C. This blog post presents the first white paper under this work-stream, “Security-Hardening Software Libraries with Ada and SPARK”.

#SPARK    #STM32    #Embedded   

by Roderick Chapman

SPARKNaCl with GNAT and SPARK Community 2021: Port, Proof and Performance

This post continues our adventures with SPARKNaCl - our verified SPARK version of the TweetNaCl cryptographic library. This time, we'll be looking at yet more performance improvement via proof-driven "operator narrowing", porting the library to GNAT Community 2021, and the effect that has on proof and performance of the code.

#SPARK     #Cryptography    #Formal Verification    #Code generation    #RISC-V    #Security   

by Jessie Glockner

Celebrating Women Engineering Heroes - International Women in Engineering Day 2021

Women make up roughly 38% of the global workforce, yet they constitute only 10–20% of the engineering workforce. In the U.S., numbers suggest that 40% of women who graduate with engineering degrees never enter the profession or eventually leave it. Why? The reasons vary but primarily involve socio-economic constraints on women in general, workplace inequities, and lack of support for work-life balance. Sadly, history itself has often failed to properly acknowledge the instrumental contributions of women inventors, scientists, and mathematicians who have helped solve some of our world's toughest challenges. How can young women emulate their successes if they don't even know about them?

by Pat Rogers

An Introduction to Jorvik, the New Tasking Profile in Ada 2022

The Ada 2022 draft defines a new tasking profile named Jorvik (pronounced “Yourvick”), based directly on the standard Ravenscar profile. Jorvik relaxes certain restrictions in order to increase expressive power for real-time/embedded Ada and SPARK applications. We will explore the details in this blog entry.

#Ada Tasking Profiles    #Jorvik    #Ravenscar    #Ada 2022    #Real-Time    #Embedded   

by Paul Butcher

Finding Vulnerabilities using Advanced Fuzz testing and AFLplusplus v3.0

Some of you may recall an AdaCore blog post written in 2017 by Thales engineer Lionel Matias titled "Leveraging Ada Run-Time Checks with Fuzz Testing in AFL". This insightful post took us on a journey of discovery as Lionel demonstrated how Ada programs, compiled using GNAT Pro and an adapted assembler pass can be subjected to advanced fuzz testing. In order to achieve this Lionel demonstrated how instrumentation of the generated assembly code around jump and label instructions, could be subjected to grey-box (path aware) fuzz testing (using the original AFL v2.52b as the fuzz engine). Lionel explained how applying the comprehensive spectrum of Ada runtime checks, in conjunction with Ada's strong typing and contract based programming, enhanced the capabilities of fuzz testing beyond the abilities of other languages. Ada's advanced runtime checking, for exceptions like overflows, and the scrutiny of Ada's design by contract assertions allow corner case bugs to be found whilst also utilising fuzz testing to verify functional correctness.

#Security   

by Fabien Chouteau , Emma Adby

AdaCore Code of Conduct

Starting today, AdaCore has put in place a Code of Conduct (CoC) to ensure a positive environment for everyone willing and wanting to interact with us. With the development of this blog, our twitter accounts, and our GitHub corporate account, there is more and more communication between AdaCore and a number of communities. In this Code of Conduct we want to explain how we are going to moderate the AdaCore-maintained community spaces with the goal of maintaining a welcoming, friendly environment.