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Title: VAULT: Reducing Paging Overheads in SGX with Efficient Integrity Verification Structures
Intel's SGX offers state-of-the-art security features, including confidentiality, integrity, and authentication (CIA) when accessing sensitive pages in memory. Sensitive pages are placed in an Enclave Page Cache (EPC) within the physical memory before they can be accessed by the processor. To control the overheads imposed by CIA guarantees, the EPC operates with a limited capacity (currently 128 MB). Because of this limited EPC size, sensitive pages must be frequently swapped between EPC and non-EPC regions in memory. A page swap is expensive (about 40K cycles) because it requires an OS system call, page copying, updates to integrity trees and metadata, etc. Our analysis shows that the paging overhead can slow the system on average by 5×, and other studies have reported even higher slowdowns for memory-intensive workloads. The paging overhead can be reduced by growing the size of the EPC to match the size of physical memory, while allowing the EPC to also accommodate non-sensitive pages. However, at least two important problems must be addressed to enable this growth in EPC: (i) the depth of the integrity tree and its cacheability must be improved to keep memory bandwidth overheads in check, (ii) the space overheads of integrity verification (tree and more » MACs) must be reduced. We achieve both goals by introducing a variable arity unified tree (VAULT) organization that is more compact and has lower depth. We further reduce the space overheads with techniques that combine MAC sharing and compression. With simulations, we show that the combination of our techniques can address most inefficiencies in SGX memory access and improve overall performance by 3.7×, relative to an SGX baseline, while incurring a memory capacity over-head of only 4.7%. « less
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
ASPLOS '18 Proceedings of the Twenty-Third International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
665 to 678
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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