Make Your Computer Safer-ScienceDaily-IllinoisNews Today



Computer security is very important to all of us, as businesses and governments depend on computers and the Internet to do everything from the electrical grid to medical and water systems. He is being raped more and more. Last month’s security hacks included a Colonial Pipeline breach and a JBS Foods ransomware attack in which a hacker hijacked an organization’s computer system and demanded payment to unlock it and return it to its owner. The White House takes the threat of ransomware seriously and encourages businesses to update their systems to protect themselves. But these attacks continue to threaten us almost every day.

Researchers from Columbia Engineering, a leader in computer security, will make computer systems more secure at the International Computing Architecture Symposium (ISCA), the premier forum for new ideas and discoveries in computer architecture2. I recently published two major treatises. This new study, which has little or no impact on system performance, has already been used to create Air Force Research Laboratory processors.

“Memory security has been an issue for almost 40 years and many solutions have been proposed. Memory security remains an issue because it does not evenly distribute the load between software engineers and end users. “I think so,” Simha said. Sethumadhavan, Associate Professor of Computer Science, focuses on how to use computer architecture to improve the security of your computer. “With these two treaties, we believe we have found the right balance of charges.”

Computer security has been a long-standing issue, and many of the systems offered work in a research environment, but not in real-life situations. Sethumadhavan believes that the way to protect your system is to start with hardware, then software. The urgency of his research is that he has received significant grants from both the Navy and US Air Force research departments, and doctoral students have a Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship to create solutions for practical safety. I got it. It is underlined by the facts.

Sethumadhavan’s group noticed that most security issues occur in computer memory, especially pointers. Pointers are used to manage memory. This can corrupt the memory and open the system to hackers who hijack programs. Current memory attack mitigation technologies consume a lot of power and can destroy software. These methods also have a significant impact on the performance of the system. Your phone battery drains quickly, applications run slowly, and your computer crashes.

The team set out to resolve these issues and created a security solution that protects memory without affecting system performance. They call the new ZeRØ memory security solution. This is a restore operation without overhead as part of a pointer integrity attack.

ZeRO presentation video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoQ4HaQ0Bzc

ZeRO has a set of memory instructions and a metadata encoding scheme that protects system code and data pointers. This combination eliminates the performance overload. It does not affect the speed of the system. ZeRO requires minor modifications to the system architecture and can be easily added to modern processors. It is especially important that ZeRO can perform all of these functions and avoid system crashes in the event of an attack.

“Zero provides free memory security and is a perfect complement to systems that mitigate memory attacks,” said Mohammed Tarek, fourth-year doctoral student and co-author of the study. “The key to the widespread adoption of security technology is the overhead and performance drawbacks. “

A second article from the Sethumadhavan team, No-FAT: Architectural support for low-overhead memory safety checks is a system that speeds up security checks with a low impact (8%) on computer performance. 10 times faster. Current software technology to detect memory errors. The name is, as the ad says, a reference to skimmed milk which “has all the goodness of milk with fewer calories”.

Fat Free Presentation Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDGaYZioJBQ

No-FAT speeds up fuzz testing, which is a type of automated software testing method, and it’s very easy for developers to add fuzz testing when building a system. This technique builds on the recent trend in software to group memory splitters together by using compartments of different sizes to store memory until the software needs it. Researchers have found that using binning memory allocation in software can provide memory security with little impact on performance and is compatible with existing software.

ZeRO and No-Fat both aim to harden memory systems and increase their resistance to attacks with little or no impact on the speed or power consumption of computer systems. The bonus is that on both systems the programmer has little to do to improve the program. These ideas can change the way memory security functions are currently supported by processors.

“No-FAT and ZeRO are two major steps in ending a long-standing problem,” said article co-author Miguel Arroyo PhD’21. “Memory security attacks have cost the cyber community millions of dollars. Now we can avoid them and protect everyone’s data. It is mutually beneficial!

About the research

Publication: Both treatises were presented at the International Symposium on Computing Architecture (ISCA) held on June 16, 2021.

“No-FAT: Architecture Support for Low Memory Overload Security Checks”

The authors are: MohamedTarekIbnZiad, Miguel A. Arroyo, Evgeny Manzhosov, Ryan Piersma and Simha Sethumadhavan Computer Science Division Colombian Engineering

This study was supported by Air Force Contract FA8750-20-C-0210, Unlimited Grants from Bloomberg, and the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship.

“ZeRØ: Restore zero overload operations during a pointer integrity attack”

The authors are: MohamedTarekIbnZiad, Miguel A. Arroyo, Evgeny Manzhosov and Simha Sethumadhavan Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Computer Science

This study was partially funded by donations from FA8750-20-C-0210, Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship and Bloomberg.


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