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On the Relationship between Software Security and Energy Consumption

Mitigating software vulnerabilities typically requires source code refactorings for implementing necessary security mechanisms. These mechanisms, although they enhance software security, they usually execute a large number of instructions, adding a performance/energy penalty to the overall application. Conversely, source code transformations are extensively performed by developers in order to improve the runtime quality of applications, in terms of performance and energy efficiency. These transformations may indirectly affect software security, since they may lead to the introduction of new security issues. In this work, we empirically examine the impact of source code-level energy/performance optimizations on software security and vice versa. The preliminary results of the empirical study suggest that the energy-related transformations may indirectly affect software security, whereas the incremental addition of security mechanisms may lead to an important increase in the energy consumption of software applications.

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