Triggering rowhammer hardware faults on ARM: A revisit

Zhenkai Zhang, Zihao Zhan, Daniel Balasubramanian, Xenofon Koutsoukos, Gabor Karsai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The rowhammer bug belongs to software-induced hardware faults, and has posed great security challenges to numerous systems. On x86, many approaches to triggering the rowhammer bug have been found; yet, due to several different reasons, the number of discovered approaches on ARM is limited. In this paper, we revisit the problem of how to trigger the rowhammer bug on ARM-based devices by carefully investigating whether it is possible to translate the original x86-oriented rowhammer approaches to ARM. We provide a thorough study of the unprivileged ARMv8-A cache maintenance instructions and give two previously overlooked reasons to support their use in rowhammer attacks. Moreover, we present a previously undiscovered instruction that can be exploited to trigger the rowhammer bug on many ARM-based devices. A potential approach to quickly evicting ARM CPU caches is also discussed, and experimental evaluations are carried out to show the effectiveness of our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASHES 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on Attacks and Solutions in Hardware Security, co-located with CCS 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages24-33
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359962
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018
Event2nd Workshop on Attacks and Solutions in Hardware Security, ASHES 2018, in conjunction with the 25th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2018 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Oct 19 2018 → …

Publication series

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

Conference

Conference2nd Workshop on Attacks and Solutions in Hardware Security, ASHES 2018, in conjunction with the 25th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2018
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period10/19/18 → …

Keywords

  • Hardware Faults
  • Microarchitectural Attacks
  • Rowhammer

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