Extended Abstract: Trustworthy System Security through 3-D Integrated Hardware
Nguyen, Thuy D.
Irvine, Cynthia E.
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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 commodity parts. We are exploring a novel way in which commodity hardware can be augmented after fabrication to enhance secure operation for only those systems that require it. Our methods will be applicable to a wide range of security problems, including the detection and isolation of hardware subversion and Trojan horses, cache-based side channels in chip multi-processors (CMPs), embedded systems security, and hardware intrusion detection and prevention. Utilizing off-the-shelf components to build trustworthy systems results in a constant battle with the underlying machine to provide separation, isolation, and protection. This problem is exacerbated by the movement to multi-core processors since security functionality (e.g., strong security primitives) is rarely considered a priority at the platform ISA or micro-architecture levels and since features exploitable by adversaries (e.g., resource sharing) are included for performance at the expense of security. Without a significant shift in the way computing systems are constructed (from the software down to the circuits), unacceptable amounts of time and resources will be spent attempting to contain the vulnerabilities introduced by each new processor performance feature. To address these problems, we are pursuing a radical transformation in the way trustworthy systems are developed and deployed, one that allows direct hardware support for fine grain control of the underlying hardware system, yet that can still leverage the performance and cost benefits provided by the latest commodity parts through the augmentation of those parts with a 3-D Integration approach.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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