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PLATYPUS: Software-based Power Side-Channel Attacks on x86

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-11-29, 18:15 authored by Moritz Lipp, Andreas Kogler, David Oswald, Michael SchwarzMichael Schwarz, Catherine Easdon, Claudio Canella, Daniel Gruss
Power side-channel attacks exploit variations in power consumption to extract secrets from a device, e.g., cryptographic keys. Prior attacks typically required physical access to the target device and specialized equipment such as probes and a high-resolution oscilloscope. In this paper, we present PLATYPUS attacks, which are novel software-based power side-channel attacks on Intel server, desktop, and laptop CPUs. We exploit unprivileged access to the Intel Running Average Power Limit (RAPL) interface that exposes values directly correlated with power consumption, forming a low-resolution side channel. We show that with sufficient statistical evaluation, we can observe variations in power consumption, which distinguish different instructions and different Hamming weights of operands and memory loads. This enables us to not only monitor the control flow of applications but also to infer data and extract cryptographic keys. We demonstrate how an unprivileged attacker can leak AES-NI keys from Intel SGX and the Linux kernel, break kernel address-space layout randomization (KASLR), infer secret instruction streams, and establish a timing-independent covert channel. We also present a privileged attack on mbedTLS, utilizing precise execution control to recover RSA keys from an SGX enclave. We discuss countermeasures and show that mitigating these attacks in a privileged context is not trivial.

History

Preferred Citation

Moritz Lipp, Andreas Kogler, David Oswald, Michael Schwarz, Catherine Easdon, Claudio Canella and Daniel Gruss. PLATYPUS: Software-based Power Side-Channel Attacks on x86. In: IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P). 2021.

Primary Research Area

  • Threat Detection and Defenses

Name of Conference

IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P)

Legacy Posted Date

2021-02-16

Open Access Type

  • Green

BibTeX

@inproceedings{cispa_all_3357, title = "PLATYPUS: Software-based Power Side-Channel Attacks on x86", author = "Lipp, Moritz and Kogler, Andreas and Oswald, David and Schwarz, Michael and Easdon, Catherine and Canella, Claudio and Gruss, Daniel", booktitle="{IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P)}", year="2021", }

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