Secure Shared Processing on a Cluster of Trust-Anchors. / Mayes, Keith.

2020. Paper presented at Future Technologies Conference 2020, Vancouver, Canada.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper



  • Accepted Manuscript

    Accepted author manuscript, 235 KB, PDF document


Attacks on computer systems and networks have never been more prolific, hence the great effort from government, industry and academia, to identify and adopt information/cyber security best-practices. Most of this effort has been directed to the logical design and operational security of systems, however the security of implementation is also vitally important, especially for critical and machine-to-machine infrastructures. One approach to underpinning implementation security, is to distribute, certified-secure chips, as hardware security modules (HSM), to provide strongly attack-resistant and trusted endpoints for protocols. A risk with physically deploying fixed function HSMs is that they may need to have a long life-time, yet be unable to support new algorithms and protocols in response to evolving threats and defenses; so a manageable secure platform is attractive. Existing single-chip platforms have specialist hardware security, including crypto coprocessors to help performance, however their general processing is slow, due to the secure platform software defenses, within what are small, low-cost and low-power chips. In this research we explore the idea of multiple HSMs sharing resources on security processing tasks, without compromising that security via inter-HSM communications. The proposal and related performance experiments center around clusters of up to eight HSMs, using a communications protocol, based on Offset Codebook authenticated encryption; sharing resources for processor intensive tasks. A localised cluster of MULTOS Trust-Anchor chips was used for experimentation, although the principles of the proposal extend to clusters that are widely dispersed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 May 2020
EventFuture Technologies Conference 2020 - On-line due to Covid-19, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 5 Nov 20206 Nov 2020


ConferenceFuture Technologies Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleFTC 2020
Internet address

ID: 38250929