Welcome to the January 2023 edition of the Confidential Computing Consortium newsletter! We look forward to sharing every month news about projects underway, new members, industry events and other useful information to keep you updated with what’s happening at the consortium. This newsletter is also available on our website.
The start of the new year is the perfect opportunity to reflect about the year that has passed and what we have accomplished collectively in 2022. It has been a pivotal year for the CCC in many regards. Please check the updates from the Technical Advisory Committee, the Outreach Committee, the CCC projects, and the Special Interest Groups.
Cape Privacy and Canonical joined the Confidential Computing Consortium.
Cape Privacy is a confidential computing platform to easily run serverless functions on encrypted data. Cape empowers developers to build secure applications which protect the underlying data and code from the cloud.
Canonical is committed to enabling Ubuntu users to leverage the strong run-time confidentiality and integrity guarantees that confidential computing provides. The mission of the Confidential Computing Consortium of driving cross-industry open source software, standards and tools greatly resonates with us and we are really excited to have joined its members.
The Confidential Computing Consortium will be participating at the Confidential Computing devroom at FOSDEM. A social event is being sponsored by the CCC on the 4th of February.
State of Open Con
The Confidential Computing Consortium will have a table at the State of Open Con, a conference being organized by OpenUK in London on the 7-8th of February.
CCC Webinar: Confidential Computing in Financial Services
The next CCC webinar will happen on February 16 at 8:00 am PT. Featured speakers include Bessie Chu (Cape Privacy), Gavin Uhma (Cape Privacy), Mark F. Novak (JP Morgan Chase), and Richard Searle (Fortanix).
White Papers & Reports
The Confidential Computing Consortium has published the Common Terminology for Confidential Computing. As more companies and open source projects begin to use similar terms to describe similar paradigms that build upon hardware-based, attested Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs), it will be increasingly important that vendors use consistent terminology that describes the ways in which these new capabilities are applied within different functional domains.
Technical Advisory Committee
It was a busy year for the Technical Advisory Council (TAC). We had a number of goals for the year across the spectrum of maturing our projects to collaborating with other open organizations to acting on our diversity & inclusion plans. Attestation was a pronounced theme for the year. We revised the definition of Confidential Computing to include attestation as an essential element. The TAC approved the Veraison project which focuses on building blocks for attestation verification. We created the Attestation SIG last year and throughout 2022, it found its legs and created a good deal of content. You can browse our meeting recordings and presentations for a series of talks on Secure Channels and Attestation Formats. An outcome of this sharing led to two additional initiatives. CCC projects Gramine, Occlum, and Open Enclave SDK all rely on separate implementations of “Remote Attestation TLS.” The independent implementations were not interoperable. The Attestation SIG helped uncover and resolve variations arriving at a proposal to harmonize the implementations of those projects. Contributors to the SIG are also creating an Attested TLS proof of concept based on a similar design. We look forward to attestation of TEEs becoming a fundamental part of communications as Confidential Computing becomes pervasive.
Harmonization was not unique to the Attestation SIG. The TAC also engaged with a variety of organizations looking for opportunities for collaboration and coordination. We hosted speakers from RISC-V, MPC Alliance, IETF, TCG, CDCC, TrustedComputing.org, HomomorphicEncryption.org, PCI SIG WG, and the OCP Security SIG. In fact, most of our TAC meetings host a Tech Talk and our meetings have become a place for learning a variety of security related technical topics. As an open collaborative community, everyone is welcome to join our meetings or view the recordings. We hope to see you in one in 2023.
The TAC also had direct collateral outputs. In addition to revising our primary whitepaper, we also generated a new whitepaper which is going through the final layout. That paper focuses on terminology to give greater clarity to the different ways Confidential Computing artifacts can be packaged and what that should imply to a consumer. We were also able to collectively form a response to the OSTP’s request for comments on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs).
This government interaction suggested a broader need for similar discourse. The TAC subsequently approved the creation of a Governance, Risk, and Compliance SIG. This newly chartered SIG already has representation from representatives from Meta, Microsoft, Intel, NVidia, Arm, CSA, JPMorgan Chase, Anjuna and others.
Of course, as an open source organization, our main focus is on open source projects. This year the TAC provided projects with additional resources. Our focus on diversity and inclusion took a few forms. Each of the projects were introduced to D&I training specifically for open source provided by the Linux Foundation. We made Outreachy internships available and Veracruz and Enarx piloted this membership program for the rest of the CCC. As the year progressed we created other resources for projects – increasing funding for CI, creating conference travel funding for projects, and making additional security tooling available.
All in all it has been a very productive year for the Technical Advisory Council, our SIGs, and our projects. We have a number of ambitious goals coming together for 2023 and will communicate those in a future blog.
– Dan Middleton, TAC Chair (2023)
2022 was a year of two halves. While the effects of COVID restrictions were still being felt in the first half of the year, things really turned around in the summer, and by the end of the year life was back to pre-COVID levels in most regions of the world. The outreach committee had to be nimble and adapt to the changing circumstances. In some ways, some of the impetus was to lay the foundation to hit the ground running again in 2023.
The committee implemented multiple important initiatives during this time including:
- For the second year in a row, CCC sponsored the OC3 Summit, a virtual Open Confidential Computing Conference held in early 2022.
- Building brand awareness and visibility in industry events like RSA. We were able to negotiate a co-marketing arrangement at no cost, whereby RSA promoted the CCC on their website, and in promotions, and CCC did the same for RSA. We’ll have a similar arrangement with RSA in 2023 as well.
- Expanding our presence to Latin America, participating at Roadsec 2022 in Sao Paulo, the biggest hacker festival in Latin America.
- After a hiatus due to COVID, CCC had a presence at Black Hat USA, in Las Vegas. This included a meeting room where we received visitors wanting to learn and/or get engaged with CCC. In addition we also got exposure in some of the member booths at the show, by way of presentations, CCC handouts etc.
- We were also able to get brand visibility at the Crypto & Privacy Village at DEF CON 2022.
- Rekindled industry analyst interactions including recent briefing with ABI Research, and communications with Gartner, Forrester, IDC, 451 Research, OMDIA, Nemertes and other Tier 2/3 analyst firms
- Secured a speaking spot for the consortium in the Keynote segment of the upcoming OC3 event in March 2023
- Signed up a consultant to greatly increase our social media activities starting Jan 2023
- Shortlisted a consultant to help guide the committee to get Confidential Computing on Wikipedia
- Made good progress on content refresh of our website, with the updates scheduled to be rolled out in March 2023
The committee is very excited about the foundation that has been laid, and we are looking forward to a highly successful 2023!
– Ravi Sharma, Outreach Chair (2022)
ProjectsPlease find updates from the CCC projects below:
Special Interest Groups
Please find updates from the SIGs below:
The Confidential Computing Consortium