Random Fill Cache Architecture (Preprint)
PRINCETON UNIV NJ DEPT OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
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Correctly functioning caches have been shown to leak critical secrets like encryption keys, through various types of cache side-channel attacks. This nullifies the security provided by strong encryption and allows confidentiality breaches, impersonation attacks and fake services. Hence, future cache designs must consider security, ideally without degrading performance and power efficiency. We introduce a new classification of cache side channel attacks contention based attacks and reuse based attacks. Previous secure cache designs target only contention based attacks, and we show that they cannot defend against reuse based attacks. We show the surprising insight that the fundamental demand fetch policy of a cache is a security vulnerability that causes the success of reuse based attacks. We propose a novel random fill cache architecture that replaces demand fetch with random cache fill within a configurable neighborhood window. We show that our random fill cache does not degrade performance, and in fact, improves the performance for some types of applications. We also show that it provides information-theoretic security against reuse based attacks.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Computer Hardware
- Computer Systems Management and Standards