Cross-level monte carlo framework for system vulnerability evaluation against fault attack


Fault attack becomes a serious threat to system security and requires to be evaluated in the design stage. Existing methods usually ignore the intrinsic uncertainty in attack process and suffer from low scalability. In this paper, we develop a general framework to evaluate system vulnerability against fault attack. A holistic model for fault injection is incorporated to capture the probabilistic nature of attack process. Based on the probabilistic model, a security metric named as System Security Factor (SSF) is defined to measure the system vulnerability. In the framework, a Monte Carlo method is leveraged to enable a feasible evaluation of SSF for different systems, security policies, and attack techniques. We enhance the framework with a novel system pre-characterization procedure, based on which an importance sampling strategy is proposed. Experimental results on a commercial processor demonstrate that compared to random sampling, a 2500X speedup is achieved with the proposed sampling strategy. Meanwhile, 3% registers are identified to contribute to more than 95% SSF. By hardening these registers, a 6.5X security improvement can be achieved with less than 2% area overhead.

In ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC)
Meng Li
Meng Li
Assistant Professor

I am currently a tenure-track assistant professor jointly affiliated with the Institute for Artificial Intelligence and School of Integrated Circuits in Peking University. My research interests focus on efficient and secure multi-modality AI acceleration algorithms and hardwares.

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