Modern web applications store sensitive data on their servers. Such data is prone to theft resulting from exploits against vulnerabilities in the server software stacks. In this work, we propose a new architecture for web servers, called CryptServer, in which we pre-determine and fix a small amount of application code that can compute over sensitive data. By encrypting sensitive data before making it available to the rest of untrusted application code, CryptServer provides strong defense against all malicious code that an attacker may run in the server software stack. As a step towards making this approach practical, we develop an assistance tool to identify the portion of server-side logic that requires computation over sensitive data. Our preliminary results show that the size of such logic is small in six popular web applications we study. To the extent of our evaluation, converting these applications to a CryptServer architecture requires modest developer effort. © 2013 Authors.
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