ESE Special Topics Course Offerings

Spring 2024

ESE 6800-002 – Hardware Security

Instructor: Professor DeHon

Description: Modern computing devices and infrastructure manage and mediate critical systems and important information.  How do we assure that these systems are available when we need them, are used only as intended, and only allow changes and disclosure of data as intended? Contemporary evidence demonstrates that this is quite hard and few systems provide adequate protection against misuse.  The root of many of these vulnerabilities, as well as many potential solutions to address them, lie in the design of the hardware that supports the systems.  In this seminar, we review attacks and vulnerabilities and various attempts and techniques to address them.  We lay the groundwork to go beyond reactive responses and explore how we can systematically address security from the hardware up.  We’ll review traditional challenges (e.g. buffer overflow, control flow hijacking), information leakage (e.g. timing, power consumption, RF emissions), emerging side-channel leakage (e.g. SPECTRE/Meltdown), and physical attacks (e.g., RowHammer, power, cryo) as well as well as various approaches to address them (e.g., Virtual Memory, Virtual Machines, capabilities, tagging, obfuscation, encryption).  Concerns and solutions will include processor design, as well as custom hardware, networking, systems, and SoCs. 

This offering will be a seminar-style course focused around reading and discussion of key papers from the literature. Students will be expected to read, discuss, and critique papers. There will be a final, research-oriented project on a topic related to hardware security.

Prerequisite: CIS2400
Recommended: (CIS4710 or 51710) and (CIS3800 or CIS5480)

Fall 2024

There are currently no ESE Special Topic courses available for Fall 2024.