Online / 5 & 6 February 2022


Unhackable across 30 Years, End in Sight

As tech lead on commercial UNIX at Bell Labs, an opportunity arose in 1988 to write a nano-kernel to end all nano-kernels, complete with an unhackable boot requirement. It was clear that a cryptographically secure chip level boot assistance was required, which guided subsequent patented ECC work at NeXT and Apple. Post Apple, in a “Social Purpose” company of his own, work has continued to fully realize this dream. The 1988 nanokernel had no threads and delivered messages across upcall channels to a thread simulation, yet that was unsatisfactory. The social element of phishing etc. is now the most feared secuirity breach, and in new work, discussed, the complete solution space is described, in the first half. New hardware is underway, solving such issues as weak memory models.

In the second half of the talk, key lockless queuing primitives are discussed that form the basis fo a multi-core actor runtime (MART) to subsume most if not all duties of the executive. Far richer than a hypervisor, the executive manages memory in new manners, in a memory safe programmer nature. In practice, a single core actor runtime (START), running across 32, 64 arm, x86, and extensa cpu architectures is available. The language and runtime are destined to the Open Source world, unless the larger project, TheDew, makes file systems and databases obsolete in its first rollout, which will include unhackable identity. Ask: Join us!


Photo of Blaine Garst Blaine Garst