Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM)-based systems are widely used in mobile and portable applications where low-cost and high-storage memory capability are required. However, such systems are prone to attacks. A latent threat to DRAM-based system security is the so-called Rowhammer attacks. By repeatedly accessing memory, an attacker is able to perform unauthorized data modifications into physically adjacent memory locations. As a consequence, powerful privilege-escalation attacks can be achieved. Although most of the known countermeasures are based on refresh strategies or intensive address monitoring, their efficient and low-cost realization is still a challenge. In this work, we present LightRoad, a lightweight and flexible hardware detector for Rowhammer attacks. Additionally, we propose two variants that further extend the LightRoad security, namely LightRoAD+Sec and LightRoAD+PARA. Our experiments show that LightRoad and its variants are very efficient and effective to detect attacks while having an affordable cost that varies according to the desired security level.
|Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI
|2021 IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI)
|Virtual at Tampa
|7/07/21 → 9/07/21
Accepted author manuscript