A KU paper submitted to the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS) has been designated as an Outstanding Paper. The paper, “Denial-of-Service Attacks on Shared Cache in Multicore: Analysis and Prevention,” was co-authored by Ph.D. student Michael G. Bechtel and Assistant Professor Heechul Yun.
IEEE RTAS is a top conference in embedded real-time systems and is counted in the CSRankings. Three papers were selected as Outstanding papers at this year’s conference, and these form a short list for the conference’s best paper and best student paper awards. Outstanding Papers are identified as such in the conference proceedings and the program. “We are happy that the quality of our work is recognized by our peers,” Yun said.
Photo: EECS Assistant Professor Heechul Yun (left) and Ph.D. student Michael Bechtel (right).
The paper investigates the feasibility of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on shared caches in multicore platforms. With carefully engineered attacker tasks, the paper shows that it is possible to cause more than 300X execution time increases on a victim task running on a dedicated core on a popular embedded multicore platform. Based on careful experimentation on real and simulated multicore platforms, the paper discovers that an internal hardware structure of a non-blocking cache, namely the cache writeback buffer, as a potential target of shared cache DoS attacks. The paper then proposes an OS-level solution to prevent such DoS attacks by extending a state-of-the-art memory bandwidth regulation mechanism. The solution is implemented in Linux on a real multicore platform and shown to be effective in protecting against cache DoS attacks.