Categories: General security

New Bytecode Alliance Brings the Security, Ubiquity, and Interoperability of the Web to the World of Pervasive Computing

New community effort will create a new cross-platform, cross-device computing runtime based on the unique advantages of WebAssembly 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California November 12, 2019 — The Bytecode Alliance is a newly-formed open source community dedicated to creating new software foundations, building on standards such as WebAssembly and WebAssembly System Interface (WASI). Mozilla, Fastly, Intel, and Red Hat are founding members.

The Bytecode Alliance will, through the joint efforts of its contributing members, deliver a state-of-the-art runtime environment and associated language toolchains, where security, efficiency, and modularity can all coexist across the widest possible range of devices and architectures. Technologies contributed and collaboratively evolved through the Alliance leverage established innovation in compilers, runtimes, and tooling, and focus on fine-grained sandboxing, capabilities-based security, modularity, and standards such as WebAssembly and WASI.

Founding members are making several open source project contributions to the Bytecode Alliance, including:

* Wasmtime, a small and efficient runtime for WebAssembly & WASI

* Lucet, an ahead-of-time compiler and runtime for WebAssembly & WASI focused on low-latency, high-concurrency applications

* WebAssembly Micro Runtime (WAMR), an interpreter-based WebAssembly runtime for embedded devices

* Cranelift, a cross-platform code generator with a focus on security and performance, written in Rust

Modern software applications and services are built from global repositories of shared components and frameworks, which greatly accelerates creation of new and better multi-device experiences but understandably increases concerns about trust, data integrity, and system vulnerability. The Bytecode Alliance is committed to establishing a capable, secure platform that allows application developers and service providers to confidently run untrusted code, on any infrastructure, for any operating system or device, leveraging decades of experience doing so inside web browsers.

Partner quotes:

Mozilla:

“WebAssembly is changing the web, but we believe WebAssembly can play an even bigger role in the software ecosystem as it continues to expand beyond browsers. This is a unique moment in time at the dawn of a new technology, where we have the opportunity to fix what’s broken and build new, secure-by-default foundations for native development that are portable and scalable. But we need to take deliberate, cross-industry action to ensure this happens in the right way. Together with our partners in the Bytecode Alliance, Mozilla is building these new secure foundations—for everything from small, embedded devices to large, computing clouds,” says Luke Wagner, Distinguished Engineer at Mozilla and co-creator of WebAssembly. 

Fastly:

“Fastly is very happy to help bring the Bytecode Alliance to the community,” said Tyler McMullen, CTO at Fastly. “Lucet and Cranelift have been developed together for years, and we’re excited to formalise their relationship and help them grow faster together. This is an important moment in computing history, marking our chance to redefine how software will be built across clients, origins, and the edge. The Bytecode Alliance is our way of contributing to and working with the community, to create the foundations that the future of the internet will be built on.”

Intel:

“Intel is joining the Bytecode Alliance as a founding member to help extend WebAssembly’s performance and security benefits beyond the browser to a wide range of applications and servers. Bytecode Alliance technologies can help developers extend software using a wide selection of languages, building upon the full capabilities of leading-edge compute platforms,” said Mark Skarpness, VP, Intel Architecture, Graphics, and Software; Director, Data-Centric System Stacks.

Red Hat: 

“Red Hat believes deeply in the role open source technologies play in helping provide the foundation for computing, from the operating system to the browser to the open hybrid cloud,” said Chris Wright, senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer at Red Hat. “Wasmtime is an exciting development that helps move WebAssembly out of the browser into the server space where we are experimenting with it to change the trust model for applications, and we are happy to be involved in helping it grow into a mature, community-based project.”

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About Mozilla

Mozilla has been a pioneer and advocate for the web for more than 20 years. We are a global organisation with a mission to promote innovation and opportunity on the Web. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use the popular Firefox browser to discover, experience, and connect to the Web on computers, tablets and mobile phones. Together with our vibrant, global community of developers and contributors, we create and promote open standards that ensure the internet remains a global public resource, open and accessible to all. For media inquiries, please contact press@mozilla.com