Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/550

Antikernel: A Decentralized Secure Hardware-Software Operating System Architecture

Andrew D. Zonenberg; Bulent Yener

Abstract: The ``kernel" model has been part of operating system architecture for decades, but upon closer inspection it clearly violates the principle of least required privilege. The kernel is a single entity which provides many services (memory management, interfacing to drivers, context switching, IPC) which have no real relation to each other, and has the ability to observe or tamper with all state of the system. This work presents Antikernel, a novel operating system architecture consisting of both hardware and software components and designed to be fundamentally more secure than the state of the art. To make formal verification easier, and improve parallelism, the Antikernel system is highly modular and consists of many independent hardware state machines (one or more of which may be a general-purpose CPU running application or systems software) connected by a packet-switched network-on-chip (NoC). We create and verify an FPGA-based prototype of the system.

Category / Keywords: network on chip, system on chip, security, operating systems, hardware accelerators

Original Publication (in the same form): IACR-CHES-2016

Date: received 1 Jun 2016

Contact author: andrew zonenberg at ioactive com, yener@cs rpi ed

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Version: 20160602:165718 (All versions of this report)

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