Are Timing-Based Side-Channel Attacks Feasible in Shared, Modern Computing Hardware?

Reza Montasari, Amin Hosseinian-Far, Richard Hill, Farshad Montaseri, Mak Sharma, Shahid Shabbir

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

There exist various vulnerabilities in computing hardware that adversaries can exploit to mount attacks against the users of such hardware. Microarchitectural Attacks, the result of these vulnerabilities, take advantage of Microarchitectural performance of processor implementations, revealing hidden computing process. Leveraging Microarchitectural resources, adversaries can potentially launch Timing-Based Side-Channel Attacks in order to leak information via timing. In view of these security threats against computing hardware, we analyse current attacks that take advantage of Microarchitectural elements in shared computing hardware. Our analysis focuses only on Timing-Based Side-Channel Attacks against the components of modern PC platforms - with references being made also to other platforms when relevant - as opposed to any other variations of Side-Channel Attacks which have a broad application range. To this end, we analyse Timing Attacks performed against processor and cache components, again with references to other components when appropriate.

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Keywords

  • Side-channel attacks
  • hardware vulnerabilities
  • microarchitectural attacks
  • processor
  • attack taxonomy

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