Since cache side-channel attacks have been serious security threats to multi-tenant systems, there have been several studies to protect systems against the attacks. However, the prior studies have limitations in determining only the existence of the attack and/or occupying too many computing resources in runtime. We propose a low-overhead pinpointing solution, called RT-Sniper, to overcome such limitations. RT-Sniper employs a two-level filtering mechanism to minimize performance overhead. It first monitors hardware events per core and isolates a suspected core to run a malicious process. Then among the processes running on the selected core, RT-Sniper pinpoints a malicious process through a per-process monitoring approach. With the core-level filtering, RT-Sniper has an advantage in overhead compared to the previous works. We evaluate RT-Sniper against Flush+Reload and Prime+Probe attacks running SPEC2017, LMBench, and PARSEC benchmarks on multi-core systems. Our evaluation demonstrates that the performance overhead by RT-Sniper is negligible (0.3% for single-threaded applications and 2.05% for multi-threaded applications). Compared to the previous defense solutions against cache side-channel attacks, RT-Sniper exhibits better detection performance with lower performance overhead.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the Institute of Information and Communications Technology Planning and Evaluation grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No.2019-0-00533, Research on CPU Vulnerability Detection and Validation / No.2019-0-01343, Regional Strategic Industry Convergence Security Core Talent Training Business / IITP-2021-2020-0-01819, ICT Creative Consilience Program)
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Cache side-channel attacks
- Malware detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Signal Processing
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering