When multiple job processes are served by a single scheduler, the queueing delays of one process are often affected by the others, resulting in a timing side channel that leaks the arrival pattern of one process to the others. In this work, we study such a timing side channel between a regular user and a malicious attacker. Utilizing Shannon's mutual information as a measure of information leakage between the user and attacker, we analyze privacy-preserving behaviors of common work-conserving schedulers. We find that the attacker can always learn perfectly the user's arrival process in a longest-queue-first (LQF) scheduler. When the user's job arrival rate is very low (near zero), first-come-first-serve (FCFS) and round-robin schedulers both completely reveal the user's arrival pattern. The near-complete information leakage in the low-rate traffic region is proven to be reduced by half in a work-conserving version of TDMA (WC-TDMA) scheduler, which turns out to be privacy-optimal in the class of deterministic working-conserving (det-WC) schedulers, according to a universal lower bound on information leakage we derive for all det-WC schedulers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering