Leaky Controller : Cross-VM Memory Controller Covert Channel on Multi-Core Systems. / Semal, Benjamin; Markantonakis, Konstantinos; Akram, Raja Naeem; Kalbantner, Jan.

2020. 3-16 Paper presented at 35th International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection, Maribor, Slovenia.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

E-pub ahead of print

Documents

Abstract

Data confidentiality is put at risk on cloud platforms where multiple tenants share the underlying hardware. As multiple workloads are executed concurrently, conflicts in memory resource occur, resulting in observable timing variations during execution. Malicious tenants can intentionally manipulate the hardware platform to devise a covert channel, enabling them to steal the data of co-residing tenants. This paper presents two new microarchitectural covert channel attacks using the memory controller. The first attack allows a privileged adversary (i.e. process) to leak information in a native environment. The second attack is an extension to cross-VM scenarios for unprivileged adversaries. This work is the first instance of leakage channel based on the memory controller. As opposed to previous denial-of-service attacks, we manage to modulate the load on the channel scheduler with accuracy. Both attacks are implemented on cross-core configurations. Furthermore, the cross-VM covert channel is successfully tested across three different Intel microarchitectures. Finally, a comparison against state-of-the-art covert channel attacks is provided, along with a discussion on potential mitigation techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages3-16
Number of pages14
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2020
Event35th International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection - Maribor, Slovenia
Duration: 26 May 202028 May 2020
https://sec2020.um.si/

Conference

Conference35th International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection
Abbreviated titleIFIP SEC 2020
CountrySlovenia
CityMaribor
Period26/05/2028/05/20
Internet address
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 36170986