Security and Privacy in Communication Networks. 11th International Conference, SecureComm 2015, Dallas, TX, USA, October 26-29, 2015, Revised Selected Papers

Research Article

Practicality of Using Side-Channel Analysis for Software Integrity Checking of Embedded Systems

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-319-28865-9_15,
        author={Hong Liu and Hongmin Li and Eugene Vasserman},
        title={Practicality of Using Side-Channel Analysis for Software Integrity Checking of Embedded Systems},
        proceedings={Security and Privacy in Communication Networks. 11th International Conference, SecureComm 2015, Dallas, TX, USA, October 26-29, 2015, Revised Selected Papers},
        proceedings_a={SECURECOMM},
        year={2016},
        month={2},
        keywords={Side-channels Power consumption Software integrity Security Embedded systems},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-319-28865-9_15}
    }
    
  • Hong Liu
    Hongmin Li
    Eugene Vasserman
    Year: 2016
    Practicality of Using Side-Channel Analysis for Software Integrity Checking of Embedded Systems
    SECURECOMM
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-28865-9_15
Hong Liu1,*, Hongmin Li1,*, Eugene Vasserman1,*
  • 1: Kansas State University
*Contact email: hongl@ksu.edu, hongminli@ksu.edu, eyv@ksu.edu

Abstract

We explore practicality of using power consumption as a non-destructive non-interrupting method to check integrity of software in a microcontroller. We explore whether or not instructions can lead to consistently distinguishable side-channel information, and if so, how the side-channel characteristics differ. Our experiments show that data dependencies rather than instruction operation dependencies are dominant, and can be utilized to provide practical side-channel-based methods for software integrity checking. For a subset of the instruction set, we further show that the discovered data dependencies can guarantee transformation of a given input into a unique output, so that any tampering with the program by a side-channel-aware attacker can either be detected from power measurements, or lead to the same unique set of input and output.