Speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities in micro-architecture processors have raised concerns about the security of Intel SGX. To understand clearly the security impact of this vulnerability against SGX, this paper makes the following studies: First, to demonstrate the feasibility of the attacks, we present SgxPectre Attacks (the SGX-variants of Spectre attacks) that exploit speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities to subvert the confidentiality of SGX enclaves. We show that when the branch prediction of the enclave code can be influenced by programs outside the enclave, the control flow of the enclave program can be temporarily altered to execute instructions that lead to observable cache-state changes. An adversary observing such changes can learn secrets inside the enclave memory or its internal registers, thus completely defeating the confidentiality guarantee offered by SGX. Second, to determine whether real-world enclave programs are impacted by the attacks, we develop techniques to automate the search of vulnerable code patterns in enclave binaries using symbolic execution. Our study suggests that nearly any enclave program could be vulnerable to SgxPectre Attacks since vulnerable code patterns are available in most SGX runtimes (e.g., Intel SGX SDK, Rust-SGX, and Graphene-SGX). Third, we apply SgxPectre Attacks to steal seal keys and attestation keys frommore »
Defeating Speculative-Execution Attacks on SGX with HyperRace
Speculative-execution attacks, such as SgxSpectre, Foreshadow, and MDS attacks, leverage recently disclosed CPU hardware vulnerabilities and micro-architectural side channels to breach the confidentiality and integrity of Intel Software Guard eXtensions (SGX). Unlike traditional micro-architectural side-channel attacks, speculative-execution attacks extract any data in the enclave memory, which makes them very challenging to defeat purely from the software. However, to date, Intel has not completely mitigated the threats of speculative-execution attacks from the hardware. Hence, future attack variants may emerge. This paper proposes a software-based solution to speculative-execution attacks, even with the strong assumption that confidentiality of enclave memory is compromised. Our solution extends an existing work called HyperRace, which is a compiler-assisted tool for detecting Hyper-Threading based side-channel attacks against SGX enclaves, to thwart speculative-execution attacks from within SGX enclaves. It requires supports from the untrusted operating system, e.g., for temporarily disabling interrupts, but verifies the OS's behaviors. Additional microcode upgrades are required from Intel to secure the attestation flow.
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- IEEE Conference on Dependable and Secure Computing
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- 1 to 8
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- National Science Foundation
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