FIXER: Flow Integrity Extensions for Embedded RISC-V

Asmit De, Aditya Basu, Swaroop Ghosh, Trent Jaeger

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

Abstract

With the recent proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices, there is a growing need to develop a security framework to protect such devices. RISC-V is a promising open source architecture that targets low-power embedded devices and SoCs. However, there is a dearth of practical and low-overhead security solutions in the RISC-V architecture. Programs compiled using RISC-V toolchains are still vulnerable to code injection and code reuse attacks such as buffer overflow and return-oriented programming (ROP). In this paper, we propose FIXER, a hardware implemented security extension to RISC-V that provides a defense mechanism against such attacks. FIXER enforces fine-grained control-flow integrity (CFI) of running programs on backward edges (returns) and forward edges (calls) without requiring any architectural modifications to the RISC-V processor core. We implement FIXER on RocketChip, a RISC-V SoC platform, by leveraging the integrated Rocket Custom Coprocessor (RoCC) to detect and prevent attacks. Compared to existing software based solutions, FIXER reduces energy overhead by 60% at minimal execution time (1.5%) and area (2.9%) overheads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages348-353
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783981926323
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2019
Event22nd Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019 - Florence, Italy
Duration: Mar 25 2019Mar 29 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019

Conference

Conference22nd Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period3/25/193/29/19

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Control and Optimization

Cite this

De, A., Basu, A., Ghosh, S., & Jaeger, T. (2019). FIXER: Flow Integrity Extensions for Embedded RISC-V. In Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019 (pp. 348-353). [8714980] (Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.23919/DATE.2019.8714980