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On the implications, the identification and the mitigation of covert physical channels

: Hanspach, Michael; Keller, Jörg

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-3073834 (490 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 83ff5efaee26b4c9227c91f6130cd87c
Created on: 29.10.2014

Thoma, K. (Ed.); Häring, I. (Ed.); Leismann, T. (Ed.) ; Fraunhofer-Institut für Kurzzeitdynamik, Ernst-Mach-Institut -EMI-, Freiburg/Brsg.:
9th Future Security 2014. Security Research Conference : September 16 – 18, 2014, Berlin; Proceedings
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag, 2014
ISBN: 978-3-8396-0778-7
ISBN: 3-8396-0778-7
Security Research Conference "Future Security" <9, 2014, Berlin>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer FKIE
malware; operating system security; covert channels; ultrasonic communication

Covert physical channels use physical means like optical emissions or acoustic wave propagation to connect isolated operating system compartments within the same computing system and independent devices that are physically separated by air gaps. We extensively discuss the implications, the identification and the mitigation of these covert physical channels. For the purpose of identifying covert physical channels during the design and evaluation of the computing system, an adaption of Kemmerers shared resource matrix, namely the physical environment matrix, is presented. The physical environment matrix enables the computing systems designers and evaluators to systematically describe and classify physical environments and the associated covert channels that might be possible between two specific devices or operating system compartments. Through the specification of limited access to physical environments, the presence or absence of a covert physical channel can be formally demonstrated during the design and evaluation of the computing system.