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Workshop description

Today’s computer systems are insecure. The semantics of mainstream low-level languages like C provide no security against devastating vulnerabilities like buffer overflows and control-flow hijacking. Even for safer languages, establishing security with respect to the language’s semantics does not prevent low-level attacks. All the abstraction and security guarantees of the source language are currently lost when interacting with low-level code, e.g., when using libraries.

Secure compilation is an emerging field that puts together advances in programming languages, security, verification, systems, compilers, and hardware architectures in order to devise secure compiler chains that eliminate many of today’s low-level vulnerabilities. Secure compilation aims to protect high-level language abstractions in compiled code, even against adversarial low-level contexts, and to allow sound reasoning about security in the source language. The emerging secure compilation community aims to achieve this by: (1) identifying and formalizing properties that secure compilers must possess; (2) devising efficient enforcement mechanisms; and (3) developing effective formal verification techniques.

The goal of this informal workshop is to identify interesting research directions and open challenges and to bring together researchers interested in working on building secure compilation chains, on developing proof techniques and verification tools, and on designing enforcement mechanisms for secure compilation.


The Workshop on Principles of Secure Compilation (PriSC) is an informal 1-day workshop without any proceedings. Anyone interested in presenting at the workshop can submit an extended abstract (up to 2 pages). We will also run a short talks session, where participants get 5 minutes to present intriguing ideas and advertise ongoing work. Presentation at the workshop does of course not preclude publication elsewhere.


PriSC will be held on Saturday, 13 Jan 2018. To participate, please register through the POPL registration system.


The idea for this workshop emerged in a small highly informal meeting at Inria Paris in August 2016 with in-depth talks and long, synergistic discussions. The first edition of the workshop was held at POPL 2017 under the name of “Secure Compilation Meeting”. This raised significant interest from the community, which convinced us to organize this workshop every year, since 2018 under the new name of “Principles of Secure Compilation (PriSC)”.

Call for Talks

You can expect more information about the call for talk proposals soon.