Vulnerability analysis of on-chip access-control memory

Chintan Chavda, Ethan C. Ahn, Yu Sheng Chen, Youngjae Kim, Kalidas Ganesh, Junghee Lee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Encryption is often employed to protect sensitive information stored in memory and storage. It is the most powerful countermeasure against data breach, but it has performance overhead. As a low-cost alternative to encryption, an access-control memory (ACM) has been introduced, which integrates an access-control mechanism with memory. While ACM minimizes the performance overhead of encryption, it provides similar levels of security as to encryption method. ACM reveals information only when the access codes are correct. However, if an adversary attempts to access data directly from memory cells through a physical attack without going through a standard interface, the vulnerability could occur. This paper discusses feasibility and countermeasures for physical attacks, including fault injection attack, power analysis attack, chip modification, microprobing, and imaging for ACM. Moreover, as a concrete example of ACM, we compare the security aspects of SSDs when the write buffers in the SSDs employ ACM with emerging non-volatile memories such as STT-RAM, PRAM, and RRAM.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event9th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems, HotStorage 2017, co-located with USENIX ATC 2017 - Santa Clara, United States
Duration: 2017 Jul 102017 Jul 11


Conference9th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems, HotStorage 2017, co-located with USENIX ATC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Clara

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government (MISP) (No. 2015R1C1A1A0152105).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 USENIX Association. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Vulnerability analysis of on-chip access-control memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this