Bartolini, Davide B.
- Conference Paper
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Most modern processors use Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) for power management. DVFS allows to optimize power consumption by scaling voltage and frequency depending on performance demand. Previous research has indicated that this frequency scaling might pose a security threat in the form of a covert channel, which could leak sensitive information. However, an analysis able to determine whether DVFS is a serious security issue is still missing. In this paper, we conduct a detailed analysis of the threat potential of a DVFS-based covert channel. We investigate two multicore platforms representative of modern laptops and hand-held devices. Furthermore, we develop a channel model to determine an upper bound to the channel capacity, which is in the order of 1 bit per channel use. Last, we perform an experimental analysis using a novel transceiver implementation. The neural network based receiver yields packet error rates between 1% and 8% at average throughputs of up to 1.83 and 1.20 bits per second for platforms representative of laptops and hand-held devices, respectively. Considering the well-known small message criterion, our results show that a relevant covert channel can be established by exploiting the behaviour of computing systems with DVFS. Show more
Journal / seriesIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Pages / Article No.
SubjectCovert Channel; DVFS; Neuronal networks; Data leakage
Organisational unit02640 - Inst. f. Technische Informatik und Komm. / Computer Eng. and Networks Lab.
03429 - Thiele, Lothar / Thiele, Lothar
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Is supplemented by: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000292800
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