Friday, September 15, 2017
11:00 AM
Goergen 109
Komail Dharsee
University of Rochester
A Software Solution for Hardware Vulnerabilities

Modern processors are becoming increasingly complex with features thatimprove performance and add new functionality. However, such improvements are a double-edged sword: they improve performance and functionality but alsointroduce security-critical bugs into the processor that attackers can leverage to bypass a system's security policies.Existing solutions require hardware extensions and often lack the flexibility of software.

We present the design of a software-only solution to prevent exploitation of these bugs.Our design builds on the Secure Virtual Architecture and employs both static analysis and run-time checks to prevent applications and operating system kernels from triggering security-critical processor bugs.Our evaluation examines security-critical processor bugs identified in AMD processors and analyzes how they can be mitigated by our design.

This talk is based on a paper that will appear at the IEEE Secure Development Conference (SecDev) 2017.

Komail Dharsee ( is a PhD student of the University of Rochester ComputerScience department, specializing in systems. His interests includeoperating systems, security, and compilers. He currently works withProfessor John Criswell in his security research group at the Universityof Rochester.