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Ph.D. Proposal Oral Exam - Haider Khan

Event Details

Monday, November 4, 2019

1:00pm - 3:00pm

Room 509, TSRB

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Event Details

Title:  Side-Channel Signal Analysis for Securing Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems


Dr. Zajic, Advisor

Dr. Prvulovic, Co-Advisor       

Dr. Cohen, Chair

Dr. Anderson


The objective of the proposed research is to exploit side-channel signal analysis to protect security-critical and high-assurance embedded and cyber-physical systems from malicious attacks through anomaly-based malware detection and by detailed monitoring of program execution and hardware activities. Side channels cause unintentional information leakage as a side-effect of hardware activity due to legitimate program execution. While attackers have traditionally used side-channel analysis for sensitive information extraction from target systems, recent research has exploited side-channels for non-adversarial monitoring of program execution. Such monitoring can be especially useful for securing resource-constrained security-critical embedded systems. Several approaches have been proposed in the literature for anomaly detection and control-flow tracking using side-channel signal analysis. Main drawbacks of the existing approaches are that 1) they are coarse-grained and cannot detect tiny deviations caused by stealthy attacks, and 2) they do not scale well for monitoring more complex devices. As such, these approaches can be ineffective in many practical scenarios. To successfully exploit side-channel signal analysis to secure critical embedded systems, the first objective of this thesis is to investigate the limits of side-channel analysis (e.g., whether a single instruction deviation can be successfully detected), and evaluate how these limits are affected by the monitored signal quality (e.g., SNR and bandwidth). The second objective is to design malware detection systems that can detect stealthy attacks with high accuracy. Finally, the last objective is to perform basic block level control-flow execution tracking. The proposed work provides a detailed analysis of how side-channel signal analysis can be exploited for protecting security-critical embedded systems.

Last revised October 2, 2019