Mozilla, Fastly, Intel, and Red Hat launch secure development alliance

The Bytecode Alliance is an open-source community that will build on the standards set by the WebAssembly

computer code on a screen

Mozilla, Fastly, Intel, and Red Hat have come together to found the Bytecode Alliance, an initiative to make software development more secure.

This is an open-source community dedicated to creating software foundations, building on standards such as WebAssembly and the WebAssembly System Interface (WASI).

Together with Intel, Red Hat and cloud computing provider Fastly, Mozilla will build secure foundations for everything from small embedded devices to large computing clouds.

Modern software applications and services are built from global repositories of shared components and frameworks, according to the Alliance. This, however, increases concerns about trust, data integrity and vulnerabilities within these systems.

But the Bytecode Alliance has been formed to establish a capable, secure platform that allows developers and service providers to confidently run untrusted code, on any infrastructure, for any operating system or device, based on decades of experience with web browsers development.

It aims to deliver a state-of-the-art runtime environment and associated language toolchains, which are linked to software development tools. The group hopes to build an environment where security, efficiency and modularity can all coexist across the widest possible range of devices and architectures. 

The founding members are making several open-source project contributions to the 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 and Cranelift, a cross-platform code generator with a focus on security and performance, written in Rust.

"We believe WebAssembly can play an even bigger role in the software ecosystem as it continues to expand beyond browsers," said Luke Wagner, distinguished engineer at Mozilla and co-creator of WebAssembly.

"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."

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