LightRoAD: Lightweight Rowhammer Attack Detector

Mottaqiallah Taouil, Cezar Reinbrecht, Said Hamdioui, Johanna Sepulveda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI 2021
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
EditorsCristina Ceballos
Place of PublicationPiscataway
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-3946-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-3947-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI) - Virtual at Tampa, United States
Duration: 7 Jul 20219 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI
ISSN (Print)2159-3469
ISSN (Electronic)2159-3477


Conference2021 IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual at Tampa

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript


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