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On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks in a Virtualized Environment

  • Tsvetoslava Vateva-Gurova
  • Jesus Luna
  • Giancarlo Pellegrino
  • Neeraj Suri
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 554)

Abstract

The isolation among physically co-located virtual machines is an important prerequisite for ensuring the security in a virtualized environment (VE). The VE should prevent from exploitation of side-channels stemming from the usage of shared resources, being hardware or software. However, despite the presumed secure logical isolation, a possible information leakage beyond the boundaries of a virtual machine due to side-channel exploits is a key concern in the VE. Such exploits have been demonstrated in the academic world during the last years. This paper takes into consideration the side-channel attacks threat, and points out that the feasibility of a SCA strongly depends on the specific context of the execution environment. The paper proposes a framework for feasibility assessment of SCAs using cache-based exploits as an example scenario. Furthermore, we provide a proof of concept to show how the feasibility of cache-based SCAs can be assessed using the proposed approach.

Keywords

Feasibility analysis Feasibility factors Security classifications Side-channel attacks 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Research supported by TU Darmstadt’s project LOEWE- CASED and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Graduiertenkolleg 1362 - DFG GRK 1362.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsvetoslava Vateva-Gurova
    • 1
  • Jesus Luna
    • 1
    • 2
  • Giancarlo Pellegrino
    • 1
  • Neeraj Suri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CSTU DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Cloud Security AllianceEdinburghUK

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