Welcome to the February 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 Confidential Computing Consortium participated at the Confidential Computing devroom at FOSDEM on the 4th and 5th of February. The event was organized by Jo Van Bulck and Fritz Alder, from the University of Leuven, Belgium, and Fabiano Fidencio, from Intel. This was the fourth edition of this devroom at FOSDEM. The event was very successful. The devroom, with a capacity for 80 attendees, was mostly full throughout the day. Half of the people in the devroom have heard of Confidential Computing and many of the speakers were members of the CCC. Jo and Fritz highlighted the importance of bringing developers and academia together around Confidential Computing. There was also a social event organized by Richard Searle, Chair of the EUAC.
State of Open Con
The Confidential Computing Consortium participated at the State of Open Con in London on the 7th and 8th of February. This was the first conference of its kind being organized by OpenUK and it was located at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in the heart of London. Amanda Brock, the Executive Director of OpenUK, kicked off the event with a keynote. Other keynote speakers included Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, Camille Gloster, Deputy National Cyber Director from the White House, and Eric Brewer, VP Infrastructure & Google Fellow. The CCC had a booth where Nick Vidal, the CCC Outreach Chair, was joined by Liz Moy (Evervault). There was good engagement at the booth, with the presentation of demo use cases that resonated with attendees. Stephen Walli, the CCC Chair, was also present and gave a talk entitled “What do we mean by Open Governance?” Mike Bursell, co-founder of the Enarx project, gave an entertaining talk on ConfidentialComputing.
CCC Webinar: Confidential Computing in Financial Services
The last CCC webinar that happened this month of February is already available online. Featured speakers include Bessie Chu (Cape Privacy), Gavin Uhma (Cape Privacy), Mark F. Novak (JP Morgan Chase), and Richard Searle (Fortanix).
The Confidential Computing Consortium is a sponsor of the Open Confidential Computing Conference (OC3). The online conference will take place on the 15th of March. Registration is free. Stephen Walli, Chair of the CCC, will give one of the keynotes. The main keynote “Industry Perspectives: the impact and future of confidential computing” features Ian Buck, VP of Hyperscale and HPC at NVIDIA, Mark Papermaster, CTO & EVP at AMD, Mark Russinovich, CTO at Microsoft Azure, and Greg Lavender, CTO of Intel.
Confidential Computing Summit
The Confidential Computing Consortium is a co-organizer of the Confidential Computing Summit. The event will take place in San Francisco on the 29th of June. The Confidential Computing Summit brings together experts, innovators, cloud providers, software and hardware providers, and user organizations from all industries to accelerate key initiatives in confidential computing. Call for Speakers are open.
White Papers & Reports
The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has released a draft report, NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR) 8320D, Hardware Enabled Security: Hardware-Based Confidential Computing, for public comment. The public comment period for this draft is open through April 10, 2023. Abstract from the report: In today’s cloud data centers and edge computing, attack surfaces have shifted and, in some cases, significantly increased. At the same time, hacking has become industrialized, and most security control implementations are not coherent or consistent. The foundation of any data center or edge computing security strategy should be securing the platform on which data and workloads will be executed and accessed. The physical platform represents the first layer for any layered security approach and provides the initial protections to help ensure that higher-layer security controls can be trusted. This report explains hardware-enabled security techniques and technologies that can improve platform security and data protection for cloud data centers and edge computing.
Technical Advisory Committee
As part of 2023 goals, the TAC is looking to increase the impact of the CCC in the ecosystem:
- Cross-project Integration event for discussion.
- Portfolio growth and maturity, hosting projects that are adopted by the community. Look into new projects from member companies and academic research.
- Cross-org and Cross-SIG coordination.
- Outbound education and DCI revisit.
– Dan Middleton, TAC Chair (2023)
The CCC Outreach Committee has brought in Jake Orlowitz (WikiBlueprint) as the Wikipedia consultant with the goal of facilitating the creation of a top-quality Wikipedia article on Confidential Computing on English Wikipedia using an efficient participatory approach. As a result of this collaborative participation, Mike Ferron-Jones (Intel) has shared a Wikipedia article draft.
The CCC Outreach Committee has also brought Noah Lehman (Linux Foundation) as a social media consultant with the goal of facilitating the creation of top-quality posts on Twitter and LinkedIn. In collaboration with CCC members, he’ll create up to 8 on-demand social posts per month (this includes social posts promoting ad-hoc announcements, events, news and initiatives) and up to 4 on-demand social posts per month shared on Linux Foundation social media. Noah has shared the Social Media plan with the CCC.
Kate George (Intel) has volunteered to help with the CCC Event Strategy. She highlighted 5 event objectives: 1. Raise awareness of Confidential Computing & Open-source projects under the foundation, and participating companies; 2. Accelerate the adoption of Confidential Computing; 3. Present panels, talks, and demo cases to targeted audiences – security, health care, financial services, and government. (Consider compliance piece too); 4. Recruit new members or projects; and 5. Foster collaboration and open-source. Kate and Nick Vidal have shared the Event Strategy slides and List of Events.
– Nick Vidal, Outreach Chair (2023)
ProjectsEnarxThe Enarx project is looking for a custodian, as Profian had to close its doors. Both Profian and Red Hat have invested heavily on the development of Enarx, which has reached a good stable release with a number of key components to establish the foundations for a comprehensive Confidential Computing solution. The Linux Foundation is providing full support to the project.
GramineGramine version 1.4 has been released, with important new features, including support for EDMM (Enclave Dynamic Memory Management), and performance improvements. Key milestones for 2023 include support communication with hardware accelerators (GPUs), support dynamic thread creation/destruction, support additional runtimes and workloads, integration with confidential container deployments (Kata containers, enclave-CC), interoperate with RA-TLS (standardization), support additional TEE backends (Intel TDX), and explore coarse-grained partitioning for certain I/O bound applications (DPDK).
KeystoneKeystone aims to enable TEE on (almost) all RISC-V processors. It’s very popular in academia, gaining 133 yearly citations (+28% YoY), however in the past year four students from UCB working on Keystone have graduated and left the project. Key milestones for 2023 include better application support (dynamic library), parity with industry standards, increase dev board accessibility, and work closely with the RISC-V AP-TEE working group.
The Confidential Computing Consortium