Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/435

Wait a minute! A fast, Cross-VM attack on AES

Gorka Irazoqui and Mehmet Sinan Inci and Thomas Eisenbarth and Berk Sunar

Abstract: In cloud computing, efficiencies are reaped by resource sharing such as co-location of computation and deduplication of data. This work exploits resource sharing in virtualization software to build a powerful cache-based attack on AES. We demonstrate the vulnerability by mounting Cross-VM Flush+Reload cache attacks in VMware VMs to recover the AES keys of OpenSSL 1.0.1 running inside the victim VM. Furthermore, the attack works in a realistic setting where different VMs are located on separate cores. The modified flush+reload attack we present, takes only in the order of seconds to minutes to succeed in a cross-VM setting. Therefore long term co-location, as required by other fine grain attacks in the literature, are not needed. The results of this study show that there is a great security risk to OpenSSL AES implementation running on VMware cloud services when the deduplication is not disabled.

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Original Publication (with minor differences): Research in Attacks, Intrusions and Defenses Symposium - RAID 2014

Date: received 5 Jun 2014

Contact author: teisenbarth at wpi edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20140612:032140 (All versions of this report)

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