Flexible hardware-managed isolated execution: Architecture, software support and applications
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We consider the problem of how to provide an execution environment where the application's secrets are safe even in the presence of malicious system software layers. We propose Iso-X- A flexible, fine-grained hardware-supported framework that provides isolation for security-critical pieces of an application such that they can execute securely even in the presence of untrusted system software. Isolation in Iso-X is achieved by creating and dynamically managing compartments (isolated software modules) to host critical fragments of code and associated data. Iso-X provides fine-grained isolation at the memory-page level, flexible allocation of memory, and a low-complexity, hardware-only trusted computing base. Iso-X requires minimal additional hardware, a small number of new ISA instructions to manage compartments, and minimal changes to the operating system which need not be in the trusted computing base. The run-time performance overhead of Iso-X is negligible and even the overhead of creating and destroying compartments is modest. An FPGA implementation of Iso-X runtime mechanisms shows a negligible impact on the processor cycle time. 2004-2012 IEEE.
- Computer Science & Engineering [209 items ]