Archive for the 'GuardRails' Category

Congratulations Jonathan!

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Jonathan Burket has been recognized with a CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Honorable Mention. This award recognizes outstanding research by undergraduate students in North America.

Jonathan joined our research group as a first year student (recruited from cs1120) and has done several research projects focused on web security including working on GuardRails and leading a new research project on correlating web application state and requests with behavior such as database requests.

Congratulations to Jonathan!

Austin DeVinney featured in Radford News

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Austin DeVinney, who worked with us on GuardRails last summer and presented a poster at USENIX Security Symposium, was featured in Radford’s College of Science and Technology newsletter.

Information technology student Austin DeVinney’s interest and curiosity has paid off with a summer internship opportunity with cybersecurity expert and Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia David Evans.

The full article is here:
IT Student Presents Research at Prestigious Conference [PDF]

USENIX WebApps Paper

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Our USENIX WebApps 2011 Paper is now available:

Jonathan Burket, Patrick Mutchler, Michael Weaver, Muzzammil Zaveri, and David Evans. GuardRails: A Data-Centric Web Application Security Framework. 2nd USENIX Conference on Web Application Development (WebApps 2011). Portland, Oregon, 15-16 June 2011.


Modern web application frameworks have made it easy to create powerful web applications. Developing a secure web application, however, still requires a developer to posses a deep understanding of security vulnerabilities and attacks. Even for experienced developers it is tedious, if not impossible, to find and eliminate all vulnerabilities. This paper presents GuardRails, a source-to-source tool for Ruby on Rails that helps developers build secure web applications. GuardRails works by attaching security policies defined using annotations to the data model itself. GuardRails produces a version of the input application that automatically enforces the specified policies. GuardRails helps developers prevent a myriad of security problems including cross-site scripting attacks and access control violations while providing a large degree of flexibility to support a range of policies and development styles.

Full paper (12 pages): [PDF]
GuardRails website

GuardRails now available!

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The first release of the GuardRails source code is now available at GuardRails was developed by Jonathan Burket, Patrick Mutchler, Michael Weaver, and Muzzammil Zaveri.

GuardRails is a web application framework that extends Ruby on Rails to provide automatic support for data-centric security policies. Developers add annotations to their data models to describe their security policies, and GuardRails performs a source-to-source transformation to enforce those policies throughout the application. There will be a paper at USENIX WebApps 2011, GuardRails: A Data-Centric Web Application Security Framework, available soon, that provides more details.