Hardware

System-Level Security for Network Processors with Hardware Monitors

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Executive Summary

New attacks are emerging that target the Internet infrastructure. Modern routers use programmable network processors that may be exploited by merely sending suitably crafted data packets into a network. Hardware monitors that are co-located with processor cores can detect attacks that change processor behavior with high probability. In this paper, the authors present a solution to the problem of secure, dynamic installation of hardware monitoring graphs on these devices. They also address the problem of how to overcome the homogeneity of a network with many identical devices, where a successful attack, albeit possible only with small probability, may have devastating effects.

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