CNS Core: Small: Towards Secure-By-Design Integration of Emerging Non-Volatile Memory in Future Systems
Project runs from 10/01/2020 to 09/30/2023
Computer systems are increasingly adopting Non-Volatile Memories (NVMs) that offer high capacity, superior power efficiency and persistent storage. Traditionally, tremendous effort has been made to address NVM security issues concerning the non-volatility property. However, the advent of hardware-based information leakage attacks necessities a systematic re-assessment of NVM memory architectures. This project is investigating the information security threats in the form of side and covert channels in computing systems where NVMs are integrated in different ways. A holistic examination of the security properties from device-level accesses to system-level management policies will be performed. Based on a comprehensive understanding of the potential attack vectors, this project will design efficient architecture and system level defensive techniques to defeat futuristic adversaries exploiting the discovered information leakage vulnerabilities in NVM-based systems. Towards this end, this project aims to bolster information security for systems with NVM integration from the following aspects: (1) Securing NVM as main memory; (2) Securing DRAM/NVM Hybrid Memory System; (3) Securing NVMs as Fast Storage Devices.
As traditional memory technology faces severe scalability issues, NVMs are increasingly playing key roles in the whole storage stack of server systems such as data centers and high-performance computing infrastructures. In light of the advances in hardware-based security breaches, understanding and taming information leakage due to the architecture/system design for emerging NVM-enabled systems are imperative for the future large-scale adoption. This project is systematically evaluating information leakage threats in emerging NVM memory and storage systems. If successful, the project will enable secure integration of NVMs in computing systems that are resistant to information leakage attacks. The work will result in the dissemination of tools, attack libraries, software, and simulation results to the computer architecture and security community.