SEDA: Scalable Embedded Device Attestation

ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, 2015.

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execution-aware memory protection unitmessage authentication coderemote attestationsoftware integritytrusted computing baseMore(13+)
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We presented SEDA, the first efficient attestation protocol for device swarms, i.e., systems consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous devices with dynamic topology

Abstract:

Today, large numbers of smart interconnected devices provide safety and security critical services for energy grids, industrial control systems, gas and oil search robots, home/office automation, transportation, and critical infrastructure. These devices often operate in swarms -- large, dynamic, and self-organizing networks. Software int...More

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Introduction
  • Current and emerging industrial trends envision systems consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous embedded and mobile devices, forming so-called Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Where large numbers of connected autonomously operating devices collaborate to monitor and control safety-critical processes, (2) connected IoT devices in smart environments and (3) self-organizing dynamic networks where a multitude of devices form collectively intelligent systems.
  • Inspired by nature, such systems are often referred to as device swarms [13, 19, 45].
  • Device swarms with dynamic topologies, such as vehicular ad-hoc networks, robot swarms, and sensors in fluid environments, require novel and flexible solutions
Highlights
  • Current and emerging industrial trends envision systems consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous embedded and mobile devices, forming so-called Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Two Working Prototypes: We describe two concrete instantiations of SEDA based on state-of-the-art security architectures for lowend embedded systems: SMART [16] and TrustLite [25], the latter based on an Intel research platform [44]
  • The goal of swarm attestation is for a verifier VRF to accept only if all devices in a swarm S are running a software certified by the swarm operator OP. This is formalized by a security experiment ExpADV, where an adversary ADV interacts with devices in S and VRF
  • We presented SEDA, the first efficient attestation protocol for device swarms, i.e., systems consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous devices with dynamic topology
  • We demonstrated feasibility of SEDA on low-end embedded platforms via two concrete implementations based on recently proposed security architectures for embedded devices: SMART [16] and TrustLite [25]
Results
  • Evaluation results in

    Figures 8, 9, and 10 show that SEDA performs best in swarms that allow establishing spanning trees with a limited number of children.
  • Even for topologies that are not conducive to such spanning trees, SEDA performs significantly better than the naïve approach, as illustrated in Figure 11
  • In such worst case scenarios the random sampling approach discussed later in Section 8 can be used to reduce SEDA’s run-time.
  • This is formalized by a security experiment ExpADV , where an adversary ADV interacts with devices in S and VRF.
Conclusion
  • The authors presented SEDA, the first efficient attestation protocol for device swarms, i.e., systems consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous devices with dynamic topology.
  • The authors constructed a security model for swarm attestation and showed security of SEDA against software-only attacks in this model.
  • Evaluation results demonstrate efficiency of SEDA for swarms of up to 1, 000, 000 devices.
  • Advantages of SEDA include: (1) reduced overall protocol runtime; (2) constant verifier overhead; as well as (3) lower and evenly distributed overhead.
  • The verifier does not need any prior knowledge about devices or their configuration
Summary
  • Introduction:

    Current and emerging industrial trends envision systems consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous embedded and mobile devices, forming so-called Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Where large numbers of connected autonomously operating devices collaborate to monitor and control safety-critical processes, (2) connected IoT devices in smart environments and (3) self-organizing dynamic networks where a multitude of devices form collectively intelligent systems.
  • Inspired by nature, such systems are often referred to as device swarms [13, 19, 45].
  • Device swarms with dynamic topologies, such as vehicular ad-hoc networks, robot swarms, and sensors in fluid environments, require novel and flexible solutions
  • Objectives:

    Property (1) is the core objective of swarm attestation.
  • Property (2) is essential for scalability in large swarms.
  • Property (3) simplifies attestation and is needed if system configuration must not be disclosed to VRF.
  • Property (4) is relevant to applications where multiple verifiers need to independently verify system integrity without coordination.
  • Property (5) is needed for extensibility, to support a wide range of single-device attestation mechanisms and to be able to adapt to future attestation schemes, e.g., those that allow detection of code-reuse attacks
  • Results:

    Evaluation results in

    Figures 8, 9, and 10 show that SEDA performs best in swarms that allow establishing spanning trees with a limited number of children.
  • Even for topologies that are not conducive to such spanning trees, SEDA performs significantly better than the naïve approach, as illustrated in Figure 11
  • In such worst case scenarios the random sampling approach discussed later in Section 8 can be used to reduce SEDA’s run-time.
  • This is formalized by a security experiment ExpADV , where an adversary ADV interacts with devices in S and VRF.
  • Conclusion:

    The authors presented SEDA, the first efficient attestation protocol for device swarms, i.e., systems consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous devices with dynamic topology.
  • The authors constructed a security model for swarm attestation and showed security of SEDA against software-only attacks in this model.
  • Evaluation results demonstrate efficiency of SEDA for swarms of up to 1, 000, 000 devices.
  • Advantages of SEDA include: (1) reduced overall protocol runtime; (2) constant verifier overhead; as well as (3) lower and evenly distributed overhead.
  • The verifier does not need any prior knowledge about devices or their configuration
Tables
  • Table1: Variables and parameters
  • Table2: Performance of cryptographic functions
  • Table3: Performance of SEDA per device as function of the number of neighbors g
Download tables as Excel
Related work
  • Attestation. Numerous remote attestation techniques have been proposed. Common to all of them is that the prover sends a status report of its current software configuration to another platform to demonstrate that it is in a known and thus trustworthy state. Authenticity of this report is typically assured by secure hardware [16, 26, 27, 42, 46, 51] and/or trusted software [2, 24, 27, 29, 47, 48, 52]. Attestation based on secure hardware is often too complex and/or expensive for low-end embedded systems. Software-based attestation [24, 29, 47, 48] does not require secure hardware and does not use cryptographic secrets. However, security properties of softwarebased attestation typically rely on strong assumptions, such as the adversary being passive while the attestation protocol is executed and optimality of the attestation algorithm and its implementation, that are hard to achieve in practice [3]. Hence, a secure and practical attestation scheme requires at least some basic security features in hardware [16, 17, 25]. SEDA follows this philosophy and uses only minimal security functionalities in hardware such as read only memory (ROM) or lightweight memory access control extensions.
Funding
  • This work has been co-funded by the German Science Foundation as part of project S2 within the CRC 1119 CROSSING, EC-SPRIDE, and the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Secure Computing (ICRI-SC)
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