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2008
IEEE

Defending Against Attacks on Main Memory Persistence

10 years 11 months ago
Defending Against Attacks on Main Memory Persistence
Main memory contains transient information for all resident applications. However, if memory chip contents survives power-off, e.g., via freezing DRAM chips, sensitive data such as passwords and keys can be extracted. Main memory persistence will soon be the norm as recent advancements in MRAM and FeRAM position non-volatile memory technologies for widespread deployment in laptop, desktop, and embedded system main memory. Unfortunately, the same properties that provide energy efficiency, tolerance against power failure, and “instant-on” powerup also subject systems to offline memory scanning. In this paper, we propose a Memory Encryption Control Unit (MECU) that provides memory confidentiality during system suspend and across reboots. The MECU encrypts all memory transfers between the processor-local level 2 cache and main memory to ensure plaintext data is never written to the persistent medium. The MECU design is outlined and performance and security trade-offs considered. We...
William Enck, Kevin R. B. Butler, Thomas Richardso
Added 28 May 2010
Updated 28 May 2010
Type Conference
Year 2008
Where ACSAC
Authors William Enck, Kevin R. B. Butler, Thomas Richardson, Patrick Drew McDaniel, Adam Smith
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