Visible to the public Power-Based Side-Channel Instruction-Level Disassembler

TitlePower-Based Side-Channel Instruction-Level Disassembler
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPark, Jungmin, Xu, Xiaolin, Jin, Yier, Forte, Domenic, Tehranipoor, Mark
Conference NameProceedings of the 55th Annual Design Automation Conference
ISBN Number978-1-4503-5700-5
Keywordsembedded processors, instruction level disassembly, instruction set architecture, Metrics, power side-channel, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, Scalability, security, Time Frequency Analysis
AbstractModern embedded computing devices are vulnerable against malware and software piracy due to insufficient security scrutiny and the complications of continuous patching. To detect malicious activity as well as protecting the integrity of executable software, it is necessary to monitor the operation of such devices. In this paper, we propose a disassembler based on power-based side-channel to analyze the real-time operation of embedded systems at instruction-level granularity. The proposed disassembler obtains templates from an original device (e.g., IoT home security system, smart thermostat, etc.) and utilizes machine learning algorithms to uniquely identify instructions executed on the device. The feature selection using Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence and the dimensional reduction using PCA in the time-frequency domain are proposed to increase the identification accuracy. Moreover, a hierarchical classification framework is proposed to reduce the computational complexity associated with large instruction sets. In addition, covariate shifts caused by different environmental measurements and device-to-device variations are minimized by our covariate shift adaptation technique. We implement this disassembler on an AVR 8-bit microcontroller. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed disassembler can recognize test instructions including register names with a success rate no lower than 99.03% with quadratic discriminant analysis (QDA).
Citation Keypark_power-based_2018