26 September 2023

CSIRO in push for cyber security

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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has announced a plan to accelerate development of a ground-breaking piece of computer security software.

Data61 – the digital specialist arm of CSIRO – said the new seL4 Foundation would oversee the development of the seL4 microkernel and related technologies.

It said the microkernel was the world’s first operating system kernel that was mathematically proven to be secure.

Leader of Trustworthy Systems at Data61, June Andronick said the development of the microkernel would be a game changer for safety or security-critical systems.

“It forms a dependable base for building a trustworthy software stack,” Dr Andronick said.

“We are taking this step to increase participation from the seL4 community, to aid further adoption and provide a sustainable, long-term trajectory for seL4.”

Dr Andronick said the kernel was the piece of software that runs at the core of any computer system and was responsible for ensuring overall security, safety and reliability.

She said the seL4’s growing list of deployments ranged from Defence systems to autonomous air and ground vehicles, to safeguard them from cyber threats.

Acting Director of Data61, Simon Barry said cyber security was a core focus for the CSIRO group.

“It’s fantastic to see our work further expanding its global relevance and reach,” Dr Barry said.

The founding members of the seL4 Foundation with Data61 are the University of NSW Sydney, HENSOLDT Cyber GmbH, Ghost Locomotion Inc., Cog Systems Inc. and DornerWorks Ltd.

Chair of the seL4 Foundation is Gernot Heiser and members include Dr Andronick, and Chief Principal Research Scientist of Data61, Gerwin Klein.

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