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A Security Technique to Fool Would-Be Cyberattackers

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Researchers demonstrate a method that safeguards a computer program’s secret information while enabling faster computation.

Credit: MIT News

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new technique to prevent memory timing side-channel attacks by malware that exploits memory hardware common to multiple programs running on the same computer.

The DAGguise scheme prevents a contention attack, in which a hacker must determine the exact instant when the victim program is accessing the computer's memory by attempting to use the memory controller simultaneously; the delay in entry when the victim program is using the controller indicates the data being leaked.

DAGguise "shapes" a program's memory requests into a predefined pattern, using a directed acyclic graph (DAG) to process requests on a fixed schedule, adjusting their timing to prevent exploitation.

The technique also enables continued memory sharing, and is 12% faster than state-of-the-art security schemes.

From MIT News
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