Hardware-Based Cyber Threats

Attack Vectors and Defence Techniques

Reza Montasari, Richard Hill, Simon Parkinson, Alireza Daneshkhah, Amin Hosseinian-Far

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There are certain vulnerabilities associated with computing hardware that attackers can exploit to launch destructive attacks which often go undetected by the existing hardware and software countermeasures. Side Chanel Attacks (SCAs) and Rowhammer Attacks (RHAs), the consequences of hardware vulnerabilities, pose significant security and privacy threats to self-contained computing components and their end-users respectively. Such attacks compromise the security of computational environments, even those with advanced protection mechanisms such as virtualisation, sandboxes or robust encryptions. In light of these security threats against modern computing hardware, we perform an analysis overview of the modi operandi of SCAs and RHAs in hardware implementation and techniques that can be used to extract sensitive data such as secret keys. We then propose various countermeasures to safeguard against these attacks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Oct 2019

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hardware
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Cryptography
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privacy

Cite this

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title = "Hardware-Based Cyber Threats: Attack Vectors and Defence Techniques",
abstract = "There are certain vulnerabilities associated with computing hardware that attackers can exploit to launch destructive attacks which often go undetected by the existing hardware and software countermeasures. Side Chanel Attacks (SCAs) and Rowhammer Attacks (RHAs), the consequences of hardware vulnerabilities, pose significant security and privacy threats to self-contained computing components and their end-users respectively. Such attacks compromise the security of computational environments, even those with advanced protection mechanisms such as virtualisation, sandboxes or robust encryptions. In light of these security threats against modern computing hardware, we perform an analysis overview of the modi operandi of SCAs and RHAs in hardware implementation and techniques that can be used to extract sensitive data such as secret keys. We then propose various countermeasures to safeguard against these attacks.",
keywords = "Side channels, Microarchitectural attacks, Cyber threats, Hardware attacks, Embedded systems, Digital investigations, Countermeasures",
author = "Reza Montasari and Richard Hill and Simon Parkinson and Alireza Daneshkhah and Amin Hosseinian-Far",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "31",
language = "English",
journal = "International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics",
issn = "1751-911X",
publisher = "Inderscience Enterprises Ltd",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Hardware-Based Cyber Threats

T2 - Attack Vectors and Defence Techniques

AU - Montasari, Reza

AU - Hill, Richard

AU - Parkinson, Simon

AU - Daneshkhah, Alireza

AU - Hosseinian-Far, Amin

PY - 2019/10/31

Y1 - 2019/10/31

N2 - There are certain vulnerabilities associated with computing hardware that attackers can exploit to launch destructive attacks which often go undetected by the existing hardware and software countermeasures. Side Chanel Attacks (SCAs) and Rowhammer Attacks (RHAs), the consequences of hardware vulnerabilities, pose significant security and privacy threats to self-contained computing components and their end-users respectively. Such attacks compromise the security of computational environments, even those with advanced protection mechanisms such as virtualisation, sandboxes or robust encryptions. In light of these security threats against modern computing hardware, we perform an analysis overview of the modi operandi of SCAs and RHAs in hardware implementation and techniques that can be used to extract sensitive data such as secret keys. We then propose various countermeasures to safeguard against these attacks.

AB - There are certain vulnerabilities associated with computing hardware that attackers can exploit to launch destructive attacks which often go undetected by the existing hardware and software countermeasures. Side Chanel Attacks (SCAs) and Rowhammer Attacks (RHAs), the consequences of hardware vulnerabilities, pose significant security and privacy threats to self-contained computing components and their end-users respectively. Such attacks compromise the security of computational environments, even those with advanced protection mechanisms such as virtualisation, sandboxes or robust encryptions. In light of these security threats against modern computing hardware, we perform an analysis overview of the modi operandi of SCAs and RHAs in hardware implementation and techniques that can be used to extract sensitive data such as secret keys. We then propose various countermeasures to safeguard against these attacks.

KW - Side channels

KW - Microarchitectural attacks

KW - Cyber threats

KW - Hardware attacks

KW - Embedded systems

KW - Digital investigations

KW - Countermeasures

M3 - Article

JO - International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics

JF - International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics

SN - 1751-911X

ER -