Fifth International Conference on Advances in Computing, Control and Networking - ACCN 2016
Author(s) : ARIEL LUTENBERG, BRUNO C. PORCHER, FABIAN VARGAS, FEDERICO ZACCHIGNA, LETICIA BOLZANI POEHLS , RAPHAEL S. FERREIRA
In recent years, computer systems belonging to large companies, governments as well as personal computers have been experiencing an increasing wave of attacks that disrupt their normal operation or leak sensitive data. In this context, this paper presents a hardware-based approach which aims at detecting several types of attacks that degrade system security. The approach is based on a dedicated watchdog, which is tightly connected to the processor bus. Compared to existing approaches, the proposed technique can be applied to any application code “as it is”, i.e., it does not need application code recompilation. Additionally, the approach does not use of any kind of supervisor software (e.g., an Operating System - OS) to manage memory usage. To validate the approach, a case-study based on the LEON3 softcore processor and security-vulnerable code snippets from benchmark test codes have been implemented. Experimental results indicate that this approach is able to detect an intrusion tentative for 100% of the test cases, while yielding low area overhead and negligible processor performance degradation. Moreover, attack detection latency depends on the user code complexity, which means that detection time can take from one up to two or three tens of machine clock cycles.