By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- Current study results on Embedded Computing Systems have been published. According to news originating from Boston, Massachusetts, by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "Program execution can be tampered with by malicious attackers through exploiting software vulnerabilities. Changing the program behavior by compromising control data and decision data has become the most serious threat in computer system security."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Northeastern University, "Although several hardware approaches have been presented to validate program execution, they either incur great hardware overhead or introduce false alarms. We propose a new hardware-based approach by leveraging the existing speculative architectures for runtime program validation. The on-chip branch target buffer (BTB) is utilized as a cache of the legitimate control flow transfers stored in a secure memory region. In addition, the BTB is extended to store the correct program path information. At each indirect branch site, the BTB is used to validate the decision history of previous conditional branches and monitor the following execution path at runtime. Implementation of this approach is transparent to the upper operating system and programs. Thus, it is applicable to legacy code. Because of good code locality of the executable programs and effectiveness of branch prediction, the frequency of control-flow validations against the secure off-chip memory is low."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Our experimental results show a negligible performance penalty and small storage overhead."
For more information on this research see: Leveraging Speculative Architectures for Runtime Program Validation. ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems, 2013;13(1):63-80. ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems can be contacted at: Assoc Computing Machinery, 2 Penn Plaza, Ste 701, New York, NY 10121-0701, USA.
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from J.C.M. Santos, Northeastern Univ, Dept. of Elect & Comp Engn, Boston, MA 02115, United States.
Keywords for this news article include: Boston, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America, Embedded Computing Systems
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