Provider Security

The Fronter® Compute Engine's Secure Vault

From the ground up, we designed the Frontier Compute Engine to insulate the execution of tasks from your data and programs. That's why we chose to support only the Java(TM) programming language. Other languages, such as C or C++, offer no inherent security protection, whereas Java was designed to be secure from its inception.

Java is a tried and tested technology. Sun Microsystems first released Java in 1994, and since then it has been used to make perusing the Internet safe for millions of users. Countless Web sites use Java applets enabling browsers to display interactive content and animated graphics. Whenever you visit a Web page containing these applets, Java code is downloaded and run securely on your computer.

What makes applets secure is the restricted, self-contained environment in which their code runs. The Frontier Compute Engine runs tasks inside this same controlled environment. We've added tighter restrictions and security mechanisms to this environment, making it the software equivalent of a steel vault. By design, the tasks the Compute Engine retrieves from the server to run on your computer have no ability to interact with your data and programs whatsoever.

They have no eyes with which to read credit card numbers, no hands with which to touch files and programs, nor voice to talk to outside computers. The risk of receiving a virus or being used in a denial of service attack, that is inherent over any Internet connection, is not increased in any way by installing the Frontier Compute Engine.

The Frontier Compute Engine's secure vault verifies the integrity of a task's code before it can be executed on a Provider's computer. The vault's security mechanism prohibits tasks from making any network connections except to the Frontier Server. Because the Frontier Compute Engine's tasks focus only on computations and are locked within this impenetrable barrier, running them is more secure than surfing the Web.

Client Security

Frontier, Protecting IP across a Massive Platform

When building a platform to run on millions of interconnected computers worldwide, security must be the top priority. Parabon's engineers designed Frontier from the ground up with the strictest security standards in mind.

Frontier uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol in all communications. Developed by Netscape® and accepted as the Transport Layer Security (TLS) by the Internet Engineering Task Force, SSL is the trusted industry standard for authenticated and encrypted communications. All transactions between the Frontier server and individual computers are safeguarded by high-level, 1024-bit encryption.

Before running on a provider's computer, client code is protected by obfuscation. Since Parabon runs all client tasks anonymously, providers never know whether their computers are working on biotechnology, chip design, cancer research, movie rendering, or other applications. Without this contextual information, reverse engineering is virtually impossible.

Frontier sends out countless numbers of tasks to run on computers worldwide concurrently, a job is essentially "shredded" when it comes from the server. Each provider's machine has only a tiny part of the overall problem. Until a client puts the pieces of a job back together, the data is unintelligible.

To ensure the integrity of results, Parabon frequently runs canary tasks. These computations have known answers. If a bad result comes back from a canary task, Parabon no longer uses that provider.