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Title: Uncovering In-DRAM RowHammer protection mechanisms: A new methodology, custom RowHammer patterns, and implications
Authors: Hassan, H.
Tu?rul, Y.C.
Kim, Jeremie S.
Van Der Veen, V.
Razavi, K.
Mutlu, O.
Keywords: DRAM
Access patterns
DRAM chips
Experimental methodology
Protection mechanisms
Refresh mechanism
System security
Dynamic random access storage
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: IEEE Computer Society
Abstract: The RowHammer vulnerability in DRAM is a critical threat to system security. To protect against RowHammer, vendors commit to security-through-obscurity: modern DRAM chips rely on undocumented, proprietary, on-die mitigations, commonly known as Target Row Refresh (TRR). At a high level, TRR detects and refreshes potential RowHammer-victim rows, but its exact implementations are not openly disclosed. Security guarantees of TRR mechanisms cannot be easily studied due to their proprietary nature. To assess the security guarantees of recent DRAM chips, we present Uncovering TRR (U-TRR), an experimental methodology to analyze in-DRAM TRR implementations. U-TRR is based on the new observation that data retention failures in DRAM enable a side channel that leaks information on how TRR refreshes potential victim rows. U-TRR allows us to (i) understand how logical DRAM rows are laid out physically in silicon; (ii) study undocumented on-die TRR mechanisms; and (iii) combine (i) and (ii) to evaluate the RowHammer security guarantees of modern DRAM chips. We show how U-TRR allows us to craft RowHammer access patterns that successfully circumvent the TRR mechanisms employed in 45 DRAM modules of the three major DRAM vendors.We find that the DRAM modules we analyze are vulnerable to RowHammer, having bit flips in up to 99.9% of all DRAM rows. © 2021 Association for Computing Machinery.
Description: ARM;et al.;Huawei;IBM;Intel;Microsoft
54th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2021 -- 18 October 2021 through 22 October 2021 -- 172825
ISBN: 9781450385572
ISSN: 1072-4451
Appears in Collections:Elektrik ve Elektronik Mühendisliği Bölümü / Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering
Scopus İndeksli Yayınlar Koleksiyonu / Scopus Indexed Publications Collection

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