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UK-SPS Seminar - 17th November Title: Attacks on Hardware: How to Ruin Your Life

Title: Attacks on Hardware: How to Ruin Your Life

Speaker: Herbert Bos (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract: Within a span of just a few years, we have gone from completely trusting our hardware to realising that everything is broken and all our security guarantees are built on sand. Memory chips have fundamental (Rowhammer) flaws that allow attackers to modify data without accessing it and CPUs are full of side channels and transient execution problems that lead to information leakage across pretty much all security boundaries. Combined, these issues have led to a string of high-profile attacks. In this talk, I will discuss some of the developments in such attacks, mostly by means of the attacks in which our group was involved. Although the research was exciting, I will argue that the way we conduct security research on hardware is broken. The problem is that the interests of hardware manufacturers and academics do not align and this is bad for everyone.

Bio: Herbert Bos is professor of Systems and Network Security at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where he co-leads the VUSec research group. He obtained his Ph.D. from Cambridge University Computer Laboratory (UK). Coming from a systems background, he drifted into security a few years ago and never left. His research interests cover all aspects of system-level security and reliability, including topics such as software hardening, exploitation, micro-architectural attacks, binary analysis, fuzzing, side channels, and reverse engineering. With his students he has won 5 PWNIE Awards at Black Hat, all for novel attacks related to hardware. He is very proud of his (former) students who are much cleverer than he is.


Please feel free to forward to others who might be interested. 


UK-SPS is an inter-university seminar series on cyber security and privacy. Seminar details are also advertised on our websitecalendar and Twitter, and recordings will be available on our YouTube channel afterwards.

Last modified: Mon, 22 Nov 2021 09:42:21 GMT