BCoal: Bucketing-based memory coalescing for efficient and secure GPUs

Gurunath Kadam, Danfeng Zhang, Adwait Jog

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are becoming a de facto choice for accelerating applications from a wide range of domains ranging from graphics to high-performance computing. As a result, it is getting increasingly desirable to improve the cooperation between traditional CPUs and accelerators such as GPUs. However, given the growing security concerns in the CPU space, closer integration of GPUs has further expanded the attack surface. For example, several side-channel attacks have shown that sensitive information can be leaked from the CPU end. In the same vein, several side-channel attacks are also now being developed in the GPU world. Overall, it is challenging to keep emerging CPU-GPU heterogeneous systems secure while maintaining their performance and energy efficiency. In this paper, we focus on developing an efficient defense mechanism for a type of correlation timing attack on GPUs. Such an attack has been shown to recover AES private keys by exploiting the relationship between the number of coalesced memory accesses and total execution time. Prior state-of-the-art defense mechanisms use inefficient randomized coalescing techniques to defend against such GPU attacks and require turning-off bandwidth conserving techniques such as caches and miss-status holding registers (MSHRs) to ensure security. To address these limitations, we propose BCoal - a new bucketing-based coalescing mechanism. BCoal significantly reduces the information leakage by always issuing pre-determined numbers of coalesced accesses (called buckets). With the help of a detailed application-level analysis, BCoal determines the bucket sizes and pads, if necessary, the number of real accesses with additional (padded) accesses to meet the bucket sizes ensuring the security against the correlation timing attack. Furthermore, BCoal generates the padded accesses such that the security is ensured even in the presence of MSHRs and caches. In effect, BCoal significantly improves GPU security at a modest performance loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2020 IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages570-581
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781728161495
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Event26th IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2020 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 22 2020Feb 26 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2020 IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2020

Conference

Conference26th IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2020
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period2/22/202/26/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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  • Cite this

    Kadam, G., Zhang, D., & Jog, A. (2020). BCoal: Bucketing-based memory coalescing for efficient and secure GPUs. In Proceedings - 2020 IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2020 (pp. 570-581). [9065581] (Proceedings - 2020 IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2020). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/HPCA47549.2020.00053