Analysis of Intel IA-64 processor support for secure systems
Irvine, Cynthia E.
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Current architectures typically focus on the software-based protection mechanisms rather than hardware for providing protection. In fact, hardware security mechanisms can be critical for the construction of a secure system. If hardware security mechanisms are properly utilized in a system, security policy enforcement can be simplified. Systems could be constructed for which serious security threats would be eliminated. This thesis explores the Intel IA-64 processor's hardware support and its relationship to software for building a secure system. To analyze the support provided by the architecture, hardware protection mechanisms were examined. This analysis focused on the following mechanisms: privilege levels, access rights, region identifiers and protection key registers. Since protection checks are made through the translation lookaside buffer (TLB) during the virtual-to-physical translations, the TLB structure was an area of focus throughout the research for this thesis. Proper use of the TLB-based hardware protection features permits protection in the IA-64 architecture. It enables the processor hardware and the operating system to collaborate to enforce security policies efficiently.
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Huffmire, Ted; Valamehr, Jonathan; Sherwood, Timothy; Kastner, Ryan; Levin, Timothy; Nguyen, Thuy D.; Irvine, Cynthia E. (IEEE International Workshop on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust, 2008-06-01);While hardware resources in the form of both transistors and full microprocessor cores are now abundant, economic factors prevent specialized hardware mechanisms required for secure processing from being integrated into ...
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