ACE Seminar: Research Challenges in a Modern Web Browser

Speaker: Ben Livshits

Date/Time: 01-Feb-2018, 16:00 UTC

Venue: Main Quad Pop-Up 102



Today, web browsers are just as complex as operating systems. However, I believe there is a shortage of exciting and practical research in this space. In this overview talk, I will cover some recent results and research challenges that pertain to browser security, privacy, and performance. I will talk about some of the issues surrounding a new wave of browser performance wars. I will talk about issue related to user tracking, ad blocking, and anti-ad blocking. Finally, I will talk about some of the challenges of sophisticate browser exploitation that involves data-oriented programming. The talk will focus on both the state of the art and outstanding research challenges.


Ben Livshits is Chief Scientist for Brave Software (, the company behind the Brave browser, a fast, open source, privacy-focused browser that blocks intrusive ads and trackers. He is also an Associate Professor at Imperial College London and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington. Previously, he was a research scientist at Microsoft Research. He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1999, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2006. Ben's research interests include application of sophisticated static and dynamic analysis techniques to finding errors in programs. Ben has published papers at PLDI, POPL, Oakland Security, Usenix Security, CCS, SOSP, ICSE, FSE, and many other venues. He is the author of over 100 academic papers, dozens of patents, and multiple tech transfer awards for bringing research in practice.

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