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

Abstract

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.

Publication
In ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC)
Meng Li
Meng Li
Staff Research Scientist

I am currently a staff research scientist and tech lead in the Meta On-Device AI team with a focus on researching and productizing efficient AI algorithms and hardwares for next generation AR/VR devices. I received my Ph.D. degree in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas at Austin under the supervision of Prof. David Z. Pan and my bachelor degree in Peking University under the supervision of Prof. Ru Huang and Prof. Runsheng Wang. My research interests include efficient and secure AI algorithms and systems.

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