Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

11-2014

Abstract

This article presents StopWatch, a system that defends against timing-based side-channel attacks that arise from coresidency of victims and attackers in infrastructure-as-a-service clouds. StopWatch triplicates each cloud-resident guest virtual machine (VM) and places replicas so that the three replicas of a guest VM are coresident with nonoverlapping sets of (replicas of) other VMs. StopWatch uses the timing of I/O events at a VM’s replicas collectively to determine the timings observed by each one or by an external observer, so that observable timing behaviors are similarly likely in the absence of any other individual, coresident VMs. We detail the design and implementation of StopWatch in Xen, evaluate the factors that influence its performance, demonstrate its advantages relative to alternative defenses against timing side channels with commodity hardware, and address the problem of placing VM replicas in a cloud under the constraints of StopWatch so as to still enable adequate cloud utilization.

Keywords

Timing channels, clouds, replication, side channels, virtualization

Discipline

Computer Sciences | Information Security | Systems Architecture

Research Areas

Cybersecurity

Publication

ACM Transactions on Information and System Security (TISSEC)

Volume

17

Issue

2

ISSN

1094-9224

Identifier

10.1145/2670940

Publisher

ACM

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2670940

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