Attack directories, not caches: Side channel attacks in a non-inclusive world

Mengjia Yan, Read Sprabery, Bhargava Gopireddy, Christopher Wardlaw Fletcher, R H Campbell, Josep Torrellas

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

Abstract

Although clouds have strong virtual memory isolation guarantees, cache attacks stemming from shared caches have proved to be a large security problem. However, despite the past effectiveness of cache attacks, their viability has recently been called into question on modern systems, due to trends in cache hierarchy design moving away from inclusive cache hierarchies. In this paper, we reverse engineer the structure of the directory in a sliced, non-inclusive cache hierarchy, and prove that the directory can be used to bootstrap conflict-based cache attacks on the last-level cache. We design the first cross-core Prime+Probe attack on non-inclusive caches. This attack works with minimal assumptions: the adversary does not need to share any virtual memory with the victim, nor run on the same processor core. We also show the first high-bandwidth Evict+Reload attack on the same hardware. We demonstrate both attacks by extracting key bits during RSA operations in GnuPG on a state-of-the-art non-inclusive Intel Skylake-X server.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages888-904
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781538666609
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019
Event40th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: May 19 2019May 23 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
Volume2019-May
ISSN (Print)1081-6011

Conference

Conference40th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period5/19/195/23/19

Keywords

  • Cache-side-channel-attack
  • Directory
  • Evict+Reload
  • Flush+Reload
  • Non-inclusive-cache
  • Prime+Probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Yan, M., Sprabery, R., Gopireddy, B., Fletcher, C. W., Campbell, R. H., & Torrellas, J. (2019). Attack directories, not caches: Side channel attacks in a non-inclusive world. In Proceedings - 2019 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019 (pp. 888-904). [8835325] (Proceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy; Vol. 2019-May). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/SP.2019.00004