Sunday, October 16, 2011

WESS 2011

It is not an easy task to organize a workshop on Embedded Systems Security just a little more than a week after CHES 2011. And it didn't help, that the Workshop Chair couldn't attend his workshop due to visa issues. So I didn't expect too much from WESS 2011 but was pleasantly surprised by it. For me, the highlights were:
  • Steve Checkoway and Karl Koscher demonstrated in their keynote talk how to hack a car. If you've been to CHES 2010 that might sound familiar to you. But this time, they had a second part which could've been titled "How to hack a car remotely". Scary!
  • In the surprise key note Nikil Dutt from the University of California (Irvine) presented an approach towards virtualization of scratch-pad memories in a multi-core embedded system, supporting secure execution environments for sensitive applications.
  • Dominik Merli gave an interesting talk on "Semi-invasive EM Attack on FPGA RO PUFs and Countermeasures". For their semi-invasive attack the authors removed the packaging to improve the measured EM signal and succeeded in executing a not so simple SPA (Simple Power Analysis) attack on the ring oscillator PUFs.
  • Ralf Huuck gave an interesting talk on "Model Checking Dataflow for Malicious Input", presenting his Goanna tool (commercially available, a limited version is available for free download) to detect bugs in software projects. Prior to the talk, I did know a few things about software bugs, their origins and debugging but I did not know much about the techniques used by bug detection tools. This made the talk that explained some of the basic approaches interesting to me.
It was apparent throughout most ESWeek events, that security wasn't a concern for the majority of the ES community. (Almost all concerned people were at CHES instead.) So having WESS as part of the ESWeek to fill the gap was helpful but having a stronger showing of security topics at ESWeek in the future would be very desirable. Security is an issue for all embedded systems as the talk by Steve Checkoway and Karl Koscher demonstrated. Next year's ESWeek will be in Tampere, Finland.

P.S.: This post is a bit delayed due to my busy traveling schedule.

No comments:

Post a Comment