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Distinguished Lecture Series: Michael Reiter

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 16:00 to 17:00

Distinguished Lecture Series: Side Channels In Multi-Tenant Environments

Michael Reiter
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Computer Science

Abstract: Due to the massive adoption of computing platforms that consolidate potentially distrustful tenants' applications on common hardware---both large (public clouds) and small (smartphones)---the security provided by these platforms to their tenants is increasingly being scrutinized. In this talk we review highlights from the last several years of research on a long-suspected but, until recently, largely hypothetical attack vector on such platforms, namely side-channel attacks. In these attacks, one tenant learns sensitive information about another tenant simply by running on the same hardware with it, but without violating the logical access control enforced by the platform's isolation software (virtual machine monitor or operating system). We will then summarize various strategies we have explored to defend against side-channel attacks in their various forms, both inexpensive defenses against specific attacks and more holistic but expensive protections.

Brief bio: Michael Reiter is the Lawrence M. Slifkin Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include all areas of computer and communications security and distributed computing. His professional responsibilities during his career so far have included Director of Secure Systems Research at Bell Labs; founding Technical Director of CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University; program chair for the flagship computer security conferences of the IEEE, the ACM, and the Internet Society; and Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Information and System Security, among others. Dr. Reiter was named an ACM Fellow in 2008 and an IEEE Fellow in 2014.

Faculty Host: Amir Houmansadr

A reception will be held at 3:40 p.m. in the atrium, outside the presentation room.