sponsored by:







Onur Mutlu, ETH Zurich
RowHammer and Beyond

We will discuss the RowHammer problem in DRAM, which is a prime (and likely the first) example of how a circuit-level failure mechanism in DRAM can cause a practical and widespread system security vulnerability. RowHammer is the phenomenon that repeatedly accessing a row in a modern DRAM chip predictably causes errors in physically-adjacent rows. It is caused by a hardware failure mechanism called read disturb errors. Building on our initial fundamental work, Google Project Zero demonstrated that this hardware phenomenon can be exploited by user-level programs to gain kernel privileges. Many other recent works demonstrated other attacks exploiting RowHammer, including remote takeover of a server vulnerable to RowHammer. We will analyze the root causes of the problem and examine solution directions. We will also discuss what other problems may be lurking in DRAM and other types of memories, e.g., NAND flash and Phase Change Memory, which can potentially threaten the foundations of reliable and secure systems, as the memory technologies scale to higher densities.
A short accompanying yet outdated paper, appearing at DATE 2017, can be found here: The RowHammer Problem and Other Issues We May Face as Memory Becomes Dense, Onur Mutlu ETH Zurich


Onur Mutlu is a Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich. He is also a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, where he previously held Strecker Early Career Professorship. His current broader research interests are in computer architecture, systems, hardware security, and bioinformatics. A variety of techniques he, along with his group and collaborators, has invented over the years have influenced industry and have been employed in commercial microprocessors and memory/storage systems. He obtained his PhD and MS in ECE from the University of Texas at Austin and BS degrees in Computer Engineering and Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He started the Computer Architecture Group at Microsoft Research (2006-2009), and held various product and research positions at Intel Corporation, Advanced Micro Devices, VMware, and Google. He received the inaugural IEEE Computer Society Young Computer Architect Award, the inaugural Intel Early Career Faculty Award, US National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Carnegie Mellon University Ladd Research Award, faculty partnership awards from various companies, and a healthy number of best paper or "Top Pick" paper recognitions at various computer systems, architecture, and hardware security venues. He is an ACM Fellow "for contributions to computer architecture research, especially in memory systems", IEEE Fellow for "contributions to computer architecture research and practice", and an elected member of the Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea). For more information, please see his webpage at ETH Zurich.

Ramesh Karri, New York University
Towards High-Level Approaches to Hardware Cyber Security

Designers use third-party intellectual property (IP) cores and outsource various steps in the integrated circuit (IC) design and manufacturing flow. As a result, security vulnerabilities have been rising. This is forcing IC designers and end users to re-evaluate their trust in ICs. If an attacker gets hold of an unprotected IC, he can reverse engineer the IC and pirate the IP. Similarly, if an attacker gets hold of a design, she can insert malicious circuits and backdoors into the design.
In this talk I will outline High-Level Design for Trust techniques that we developed to prevent these and similar attacks: Locking/Obfuscation and Secure Sourcing of IPs for High-Level Integration. Locking/Obfuscation implements a built-in obfuscation mechanism in ICs to prevent reverse engineering. Secure sourcing can thwart Trojan insertion in 3rd party Intellectual Properties.
I will wrap up the presentation by pointing out why hardware security is an essential objective from economics, security, and safety aspects and offer my vision of the developing field of hardware cybersecurity.


Ramesh Karri is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University. He co-directs the NYU Center for Cyber Security. He is also leads the Cyber Security thrust of the NY State Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technologies at NYU. He co-founded the Trust-Hub and organizes the Embedded Systems Challenge, the annual red team blue team event. Ramesh Karri has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering, from the University of California at San Diego and a B.E in ECE from Andhra University. His research and education activities in hardware cybersecurity include trustworthy ICs; processors and cyber-physical systems; security-aware computer-aided design, test, verification, validation, and reliability; nano meets security; hardware security competitions, benchmarks and metrics; biochip security; additive manufacturing security. He has published over 200 articles in leading journals and conference proceedings.
Ramesh Karri's work on hardware cybersecurity received best paper award nominations (ICCD 2015 and DFTS 2015), awards (ITC 2014, CCS 2013, DFTS 2013 and VLSI Design 2012, ACM Student Research Competition at DAC 2012, ICCAD 2013, DAC 2014, ACM Grand Finals 2013, Kaspersky Challenge and Embedded Security Challenge). He also received the Humboldt Fellowship and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Ramesh Karri co-founded the IEEE/ACM Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures (NANOARCH).

Organized by

Technische Universität Darmstadt
the Technical University of Darmstadt

Organized in collaboration with

SFB 1119 CROSSING Technische Universität Darmstadt