Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers
Information security and privacy in general are major concerns that impede enterprise adaptation of shared or public cloud computing. Specifically, the concern of Virtual Machine (VM) physical co-residency stems from the threat that hostile tenants can leverage various forms of side channels (such as cache covert channels) to exfiltrate sensitive information of victims on the same physical system. However, on virtualized x86 systems, covert channel attacks have not yet proven to be practical, and thus the threat is widely considered a "Potential risk". In this paper, the authors present a novel covert channel attack that is capable of high-bandwidth and reliable data transmission in the cloud.