La Manga del Mar Menor, Cartagena, SPAIN
June 27-30, 2005

Keynote 3

Hardware/Software Co-Design Approaches to System Security

Prof. Alok Choudhary

Director - Center for Ultra-Scale Computing and Security
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Marketing and Technology Management, Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA



Computer and Information security has become a critical and central problem in this connected "any-time, any-where" world. One of the key problems facing the computer industry today involves ensuring the integrity of end-user applications and data. One way to consider the security problem is the unauthorized execution of code on a particular system. Researchers in the relatively new field of software protection investigate the development and evaluation of controls that prevent the unauthorized modification or use of system software. While many previously developed protection schemes have provided a strong level of security, their overall effectiveness has been hindered by a lack of transparency to the user in terms of performance overhead. Other approaches take to the opposite extreme and sacrifice security for the sake of this need for transparency.

In this talk, We will first present an overview of the security problems. Then I will present an architecture for software protection that provides both security and user transparency by utilizing the concepts of multiple programmable cores on modern processors. In the past additional resources have mainly been used for performance enhancements. In this work, we present ways to use part of additional resources to dynamically enhance security and protection using the co-processing paradigm. We demonstrate some initial results by using FPGAs as co-processors to accelerate execution of programs in a cryptographic environment, while maintaining the flexibility through reprogramming to carry out any compiler-driven protections that may be application-specific. Finally, we describe some of the specific problems such as untrusted foundry, multi-level separation etc. that we are addressing using our overall approach.

Short Bio

Alok Choudhary is professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also the director of the multidisciplinary center on ultra-scale computing and Information Security. He joined Northwestern in 1996. Prior to that he was a faculty member of the ECE department at Syracuse University. Alok Choudhary received his Ph.D. from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in Electrical and Computer Engineering, in 1989, M.S. from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1986 and B.E.(Hons.) from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India in 1982.

Alok Choudhary received the National Science Foundation's Young Investigator Award in 1993. He has published more than 300 papers in various journals and conferences in various areas. He has also written a book and several book chapters on the above topics. His research has been sponsored by (past and present) DARPA, NSF, NASA, AFOSR, ONR, DOE, Intel, IBM, and TI. He is a fellow of IEEE.

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