Architectural Support for Protecting Memory Integrity and Confidentiality

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Shi, Weidong
Lee, Hsien-Hsin Sean
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This dissertation describes efficient design of tamper-resistant secure processor and cryptographic memory protection model that will strength security of a computing system. The thesis proposes certain cryptographic and security features integrated into the general purpose processor and computing platform to protect confidentiality and integrity of digital content stored in a computing system's memory. System designers can take advantages of the availability of the proposed security model to build future security systems such as systems with strong anti-reverse engineering capability, digital content protection system, or trusted computing system with strong tamper-proof protection. The thesis explores architecture level optimizations and design trade-offs for supporting high performance tamper-resistant memory model and micro-processor architecture. It expands the research of the previous studies on tamper-resistant processor design on several fronts. It offers some new architecture and design optimization techniques to further reduce the overhead of memory protection over the previous approaches documented in the literature. Those techniques include prediction based memory decryption and efficient memory integrity verification approaches. It compares different encryption modes applicable to memory protection and evaluates their pros and cons. In addition, the thesis tries to solve some of the security issues that have been largely ignored in the prior art. It presents a detailed investigation of how to integrate confidentiality protection and integrity protection into the out-of-order processor architecture both efficiently and securely. Furthermore, the thesis also expands the coverage of protection from single processor to multi-processor.
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