Types for Information Flow Control: Labeling Granularity and Semantic Models

Authors: Vineet Rajani and Deepak Garg

Paper Information

Title:Types for Information Flow Control: Labeling Granularity and Semantic Models
Authors:Vineet Rajani and Deepak Garg
Proceedings:CSF CSF Proceedings
Editors: Stephen Chong, Stephanie Delaune and Deepak Garg
Keywords:Type system, Information flow control, Semantic model, Translation

ABSTRACT. Language-based information flow control (IFC) tracks dependencies within a program using sensitivity labels and prohibits public outputs from depending on secret inputs. In particular, literature has proposed several type systems for tracking these dependencies. On one extreme, there are fine-grained type systems (like Flow Caml) that track dependence at the level of individual values, by labeling all values individually. On the other extreme are coarse-grained type systems (like SLIO) that track dependence coarsely, by associating a single label with an entire computation context and not labeling all values individually.

In this paper, we show that, despite their glaring differences, both these styles are, in fact, equally expressive. To do this, we show a semantics- and type-preserving translation from a coarse-grained type system to a fine-grained one and vice-versa. The forward translation isn't surprising, but the backward translation is: It requires a construct to arbitrarily limit the scope of a context label in the coarse-grained type system (e.g., HLIO's ``toLabeled'' construct), as well as a small change to how labels are interpreted in coarse-grained type systems. Along the way, we show how to build logical relation models of both fine-grained and coarse-grained type systems (with full higher-order state). We use these relations to prove the two type systems and our translations sound.

Talk:Jul 11 09:30 (Session 60B: Information flow)