BUSec Seminar – Prof. Tai Moreshet & Aanchal Malhotra

Friday, June 10, 2016
12pm -1 pm
Location: PHO 339, 8 St Marys St

Prof. Tai Moreshet – Spider Goat: Transactional Memory for Security
Abstract: Modern Intel CPUs support the detection and resolution of memory conflicts between multiple threads that access the same data: This is called Transactional Synchronisation Extension (TSX). Hardware-supported TSX technology helps avoid expensive software locks. Instead, TSX can automatically detect read/write memory conflicts and roll back corresponding RAM changes. We will show how TSX capabilities can be used for security. A special security thread reads protected RAM cells (data or code) in TSX mode; any other (potentially malicious) thread writing to the same cells will cause the CPU to abort the transaction.

Aanchal Malhotra – Attaching the Network Time Protocol
Abstract: We explore the risk that network attackers can exploit unauthenticated Network Time Protocol (NTP) traffic to alter the time on client systems. We first discuss how an on- path attacker, that hijacks traffic to an NTP server, can quickly shift time on the server’s clients. Then, we present a extremely low-rate (single packet) denial-of-service attack that an off-path attacker, located anywhere on the network, can use to disable NTP clock synchronization on a client. Next, we show how an off-path attacker can exploit IPv4 packet fragmentation to shift time on a client. We discuss the implications on these attacks on other core Internet protocols, quantify their attack surface using Internet measurements, and suggest a few simple countermeasures that can improve the security of NTP.

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