Microarchitectural Security

The microarchitecture of a modern processor is vastly complex. Many instructions execute at the same time with many outstanding and potentially dependent loads and stores each interacting with different data structures. What is the impact of this complexity on security?

In our research we explore whether it is possible to compromise confidentiality and integrity of computation on modern microarchitectures. Some examples of our research shows that different active microarchitectural elements (such as Page Table Walkers) can leak sensitive information and certain microarchitectural buffers, deep inside a CPU pipeline, are vulnerable to speculative execution attacks.