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Operating system protection against side-channel attacks that exploit memory latency

Úlfar Erlingsson and Martín Abadi

Abstract

There is a new class of attacks (in particular against AES encryption) that allows a party that is able to execute code on a hardware system to learn critical data (such as AES encryption keys) used by other users of the system. The attacks come in several subclasses but they all depend on information being leaked through the timing behavior of memory systems that use caches. We can add to operating systems and hypervisors (anything that manages physical memory and page tables) support for protection against these cache-effect side channel attacks, such as those used to attack AES encryption, etc. This document describes ideas for how this can be done, both in the abstract, and also with some concrete implementation details.

Details

Publication typeTechReport
NumberMSR-TR-2007-117
Pages7
InstitutionMicrosoft Research
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