Behind the last line of defense: Surviving SoC faults and intrusions

Inês Pinto Gouveia, Marcus Völp, Paulo Esteves-Verissimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Today, leveraging the enormous modular power, diversity and flexibility of manycore systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) requires careful orchestration of complex and heterogeneous resources, a task left to low-level software, e.g., hypervisors. In current architectures, this software forms a single point of failure and worthwhile target for attacks: once compromised, adversaries can gain access to all information and full control over the platform and the environment it controls. This article proposes Midir, an enhanced manycore architecture, effecting a paradigm shift from SoCs to distributed SoCs. Midir changes the way platform resources are controlled, by retrofitting tile-based fault containment through well known mechanisms, while securing low-overhead quorum-based consensus on all critical operations, in particular privilege management and, thus, management of containment domains. Allowing versatile redundancy management, Midir promotes resilience for all software levels, including at low level. We explain this architecture, its associated algorithms and hardware mechanisms and show, for the example of a Byzantine fault tolerant microhypervisor, that it outperforms the highly efficient MinBFT by one order of magnitude.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102920
JournalComputers and Security
Volume123
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Computer Science(all)

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