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Securing Accelerators with Dynamic Information Flow Tracking

by   Luca Piccolboni, et al.

Systems-on-chip (SoCs) are becoming heterogeneous: they combine general-purpose processor cores with application-specific hardware components, also known as accelerators, to improve performance and energy efficiency. The advantages of heterogeneity, however, come at a price of threatening security. The architectural dissimilarities of processors and accelerators require revisiting the current security techniques. With this hardware demo, we show how accelerators can break dynamic information flow tracking (DIFT), a well-known security technique that protects systems against software-based attacks. We also describe how the security guarantees of DIFT can be re-established with a hardware solution that has low performance and area penalties.


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