Sirer's team at Cornell is undertaking a new project to develop an operating system aimed at trusted computing, that is, computing where applications can provide strong, inviolable guarantees about their behavior. This work will build on the new secure coprocessor hardware that is now ubiquitous to develop new OS abstractions for trustworthy applications.
These new abstractions enable security properties that are difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional operating systems. The application of these abstractions to the construction of distributed systems will yield more robust replacements for fragile and insecure infrastructure services, such as DNS, email, web, and peer-to-peer systems, than we use today. As well, the new OS will be used to build applications that generate spam-free email, perform secure digital rights management without forcing the user to use a particular set of media players, secure web communication by ruling out browser hijacks, support secure peer-to-peer systems where rogue clients cannot deviate from a prescribed protocol and generally support new applications where nodes can make secure inferences about the state of execution of an application on another node.