Maya: Falsifying Power Sidechannels with Dynamic Control

07/22/2019
by   Raghavendra Pradyumna Pothukuchi, et al.
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The security of computers is at risk because of information leaking through physical outputs such as power, temperature, or electromagnetic (EM) emissions. Attackers can use advanced signal measurement and analysis to recover sensitive data from these sidechannels. To address this problem, this paper presents Maya, a simple and effective solution against power side-channels. The idea is to re-shape the power dissipated by an application in an application-transparent manner using control theory techniques - preventing attackers from learning any information. With control theory, a controller can reliably keep power close to a desired target value even when runtime conditions change unpredictably. Then, by changing these targets intelligently, power can be made to appear in any desired form, appearing to carry activity information which, in reality, is unrelated to the application. Maya can be implemented in privileged software or in simple hardware. In this paper, we implement Maya on two multiprocessor machines using Operating System (OS) threads, and show its effectiveness and ease of deployment.

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