Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage

Youngjoo Shin, Hyung Chan Kim, Dokeun Kwon, Ji Hoon Jeong, Junbeom Hur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Data prefetching is a hardware-based optimization mechanism used in most of the modern microprocessors. It fetches data to the cache before it is needed. In this paper, we present a novel microarchitectural attack that exploits the prefetching mechanism. Our attack targets Instruction pointer (IP)-based stride prefetching in Intel processors. Stride prefetcher detects memory access patterns with a regular stride, which are likely to be found in lookup table-based cryptographic implementations. By monitoring the prefetching activities near the lookup table, attackers can extract sensitive information such as secret keys from victim applications. This kind of leakage from prefetching has never been considered in the design of constant time algorithm to prevent side-channel attacks. We show the potential of the proposed attack by applying it against the Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) algorithm built upon the latest version of OpenSSL library. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first microarchitectural side-channel attack exploiting the hardware prefetching of modern microprocessors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages131-145
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356930
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 15
Event25th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2018 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 2018 Oct 15 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
ISSN (Print)1543-7221

Conference

Conference25th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2018
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period18/10/15 → …

Fingerprint

Table lookup
Microprocessor chips
Hardware
Data storage equipment
Monitoring
Side channel attack

Keywords

  • ECDH algorithm
  • Hardware prefetching
  • Microarchitectural side-channel attacks
  • OpenSSL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Shin, Y., Kim, H. C., Kwon, D., Jeong, J. H., & Hur, J. (2018). Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage. In CCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (pp. 131-145). (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3243734.3243736

Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage. / Shin, Youngjoo; Kim, Hyung Chan; Kwon, Dokeun; Jeong, Ji Hoon; Hur, Junbeom.

CCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. Association for Computing Machinery, 2018. p. 131-145 (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Shin, Y, Kim, HC, Kwon, D, Jeong, JH & Hur, J 2018, Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage. in CCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 131-145, 25th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2018, Toronto, Canada, 18/10/15. https://doi.org/10.1145/3243734.3243736
Shin Y, Kim HC, Kwon D, Jeong JH, Hur J. Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage. In CCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. Association for Computing Machinery. 2018. p. 131-145. (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security). https://doi.org/10.1145/3243734.3243736
Shin, Youngjoo ; Kim, Hyung Chan ; Kwon, Dokeun ; Jeong, Ji Hoon ; Hur, Junbeom. / Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage. CCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. Association for Computing Machinery, 2018. pp. 131-145 (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security).
@inproceedings{d1363a7388604efbbf5fd4580cfb0df8,
title = "Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage",
abstract = "Data prefetching is a hardware-based optimization mechanism used in most of the modern microprocessors. It fetches data to the cache before it is needed. In this paper, we present a novel microarchitectural attack that exploits the prefetching mechanism. Our attack targets Instruction pointer (IP)-based stride prefetching in Intel processors. Stride prefetcher detects memory access patterns with a regular stride, which are likely to be found in lookup table-based cryptographic implementations. By monitoring the prefetching activities near the lookup table, attackers can extract sensitive information such as secret keys from victim applications. This kind of leakage from prefetching has never been considered in the design of constant time algorithm to prevent side-channel attacks. We show the potential of the proposed attack by applying it against the Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) algorithm built upon the latest version of OpenSSL library. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first microarchitectural side-channel attack exploiting the hardware prefetching of modern microprocessors.",
keywords = "ECDH algorithm, Hardware prefetching, Microarchitectural side-channel attacks, OpenSSL",
author = "Youngjoo Shin and Kim, {Hyung Chan} and Dokeun Kwon and Jeong, {Ji Hoon} and Junbeom Hur",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1145/3243734.3243736",
language = "English",
series = "Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security",
publisher = "Association for Computing Machinery",
pages = "131--145",
booktitle = "CCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - Unveiling hardware-based data prefetcher, a hidden source of information leakage

AU - Shin, Youngjoo

AU - Kim, Hyung Chan

AU - Kwon, Dokeun

AU - Jeong, Ji Hoon

AU - Hur, Junbeom

PY - 2018/10/15

Y1 - 2018/10/15

N2 - Data prefetching is a hardware-based optimization mechanism used in most of the modern microprocessors. It fetches data to the cache before it is needed. In this paper, we present a novel microarchitectural attack that exploits the prefetching mechanism. Our attack targets Instruction pointer (IP)-based stride prefetching in Intel processors. Stride prefetcher detects memory access patterns with a regular stride, which are likely to be found in lookup table-based cryptographic implementations. By monitoring the prefetching activities near the lookup table, attackers can extract sensitive information such as secret keys from victim applications. This kind of leakage from prefetching has never been considered in the design of constant time algorithm to prevent side-channel attacks. We show the potential of the proposed attack by applying it against the Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) algorithm built upon the latest version of OpenSSL library. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first microarchitectural side-channel attack exploiting the hardware prefetching of modern microprocessors.

AB - Data prefetching is a hardware-based optimization mechanism used in most of the modern microprocessors. It fetches data to the cache before it is needed. In this paper, we present a novel microarchitectural attack that exploits the prefetching mechanism. Our attack targets Instruction pointer (IP)-based stride prefetching in Intel processors. Stride prefetcher detects memory access patterns with a regular stride, which are likely to be found in lookup table-based cryptographic implementations. By monitoring the prefetching activities near the lookup table, attackers can extract sensitive information such as secret keys from victim applications. This kind of leakage from prefetching has never been considered in the design of constant time algorithm to prevent side-channel attacks. We show the potential of the proposed attack by applying it against the Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) algorithm built upon the latest version of OpenSSL library. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first microarchitectural side-channel attack exploiting the hardware prefetching of modern microprocessors.

KW - ECDH algorithm

KW - Hardware prefetching

KW - Microarchitectural side-channel attacks

KW - OpenSSL

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85056861340&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85056861340&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1145/3243734.3243736

DO - 10.1145/3243734.3243736

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:85056861340

T3 - Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security

SP - 131

EP - 145

BT - CCS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security

PB - Association for Computing Machinery

ER -