ADHeS: Attacks and Defenses on FPGA-CPU Heterogeneous Systems

Due to their hardware parallelism and reconfiguration capabilities, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are integrated into modern heterogeneous platforms and run a variety of safety-critical applications. They are often coupled with CPUs. However, the security of this integration remains questionable. Modern FPGAs contain millions of programmable cells, forcing the designers to use third-party IP cores, which carry the risk of being infected with malicious code. Furthermore, researchers have recently demonstrated carrying out side-channel, fault-injection and denial-of-service attacks from the FPGA fabric. CPUs are also vulnerable to a variety of known attacks leveraging shared memory or microarchitectural state. In this project, we focus on discovering new security vulnerabilities introduced by FPGAs in heterogeneous systems. Discovering and understanding the mechanisms behind these, not yet understood, security threats will enable developing protections and countermeasures, necessary to guarantee safe employment of FPGAs in today's heterogeneous platforms.


D. G. Mahmoud, W. Hu and M. Stojilović, X-Attack: Remote Activation of Satisfiability Don’t-Care Hardware Trojans on Shared FPGAs, The International Conference on Field-Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL), August 31 - September 4, 2020.
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