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 »
This content will become publicly available on July 1, 2023
Composable Cachelets: Protecting Enclaves from Cache Side-Channel Attacks
The security of isolated execution architectures such as Intel SGX has been significantly threatened by the recent emer- gence of side-channel attacks. Cache side-channel attacks allow adversaries to leak secrets stored inside isolated en- claves without having direct access to the enclave memory. In some cases, secrets can be leaked even without having the knowledge of the victim application code or having OS-level privileges. We propose the concept of Composable Cachelets (CC), a new scalable strategy to dynamically partition the last-level cache (LLC) for completely isolating enclaves from other applications and from each other. CC supports enclave isolation in caches with the capability to dynamically readjust the cache capacity as enclaves are created and destroyed. We present a cache-aware and enclave-aware operational seman- tics to help rigorously establish security properties of CC, and we experimentally demonstrate that CC thwarts side-channel attacks on caches with modest performance and complexity impact.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- 2022 USENIX Security Symposium
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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