Talks & Seminars
SMART: Secure and Minimal Architecture for (Establishing a Dynamic) Root of Trust
Karim El Defrawy, HRL Laboratories
Date & Time: September 17, 2012 11:00
Venue: SIB 201 (Lecture Hall), KR Building
Remote attestation is the process of securely verifying internal state of a remote hardware platform. It can be achieved either statically (at boot time) or dynamically, at run-time in order to establish a dynamic root of trust. The latter allows full isolation of a code region from preexisting software (including the operating system) and guarantees untampered execution of this code. Despite the untrusted state of the overall platform, a dynamic root of trust facilitates execution of critical code. Prior software-based techniques lack concrete security guarantees, while hardware-based approaches involve security co-processors that are too costly for low-end embedded devices. In this talk, we present a new primitive (called SMART) based on hardware-software co-design. SMART is a simple, efficient and secure approach for establishing a dynamic root of trust in a remote embedded device. We focus on low-end microcontroller units (MCU) that lack specialized memory management or protection features. SMART requires minimal changes to existing MCUs (while providing concrete security guarantees) and assumes few restrictions on adversarial capabilities. We demonstrate both practicality and feasibility of SMART by implementing it – via hardware modifications – on two common MCU platforms: AVR and MSP430. Results show that SMART implementations require only a few changes to memory bus access logic. We also synthesize both implementations to an 180nm ASIC process to confirm its small impact on MCU size and overall cost.
Speaker Profile:
Karim El Defrawy is currently a research staff member at the Information Systems and Sciences Lab (ISSL) of HRL Laboratories (formerly Hughes Research Labs). Karim's research interest are: protocols for secure computation, applied cryptography, security and privacy in embedded and networked systems. Karim currently leads the Fully Secure Computation (FSC) project at HRL. FSC is developing protocols to perform computation on a network of untrusted hosts while guaranteeing correctness of computation and privacy of inputs and outputs (depending on what the computation itself reveals) of parties involved in such computation. Karim obtained a PhD from the Bren School of Information and Computer Science (ICS) at the University of California Irvine (UCI) in 2010 and an MSc in 2008. Prior to that he obtained an MSc and BSc in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University in 2005 and 2003 respectively. Karim has served as the information director of the ACM Transactions of Information and System Security (TISSEC) since January 2011 and is currently a reviewer for several journals (ACM TISSEC, IEEE TIFS, IEEE TMC, IEEE JSAC, IEEE Pervasive Computing) and has been on multiple program committees of security and privacy related conferences.
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