The security and architecture communities will remember 2018 as the year of side channels. Starting from Spectre and Meltdown, time and again we have seen how basic performance-improving features can be exploited to violate fundamental hardware security guarantees. In this talk, I will survey two recent results on hardware side channel attacks. The first, Fallout, continues a series of Meltdown-type vulnerabilities, showing that speculative execution attacks are possible even on post-Meltdown hardware platforms. The second, RAMBleed, exploits the Rowhammer effect that can flip bits in memory without accessing them. RAMBleed shows that the Rowhammer effect, so far considered as a threat to integrity, can also be used breach confidentiality, recovering secret information across address spaces boundaries.
Daniel Genkin is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University Of Michigan. Before that, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland, where I was hosted by Prof. Nadia Heninger and Prof. Jonathan Katz. Daniel’s research interest are in cryptography and system security, with particular interests in hardware security, verifiable computation and SNARKS. Daniel was part of the team that behind the recent attacks on speculative execution, namely Spectre, Meltdown, Foreshadow and Fallout.