Austin Harris, Tarunesh Verma, Shijia Wei, Alex Kisil, Misiker Tadesse Aga, Valeria Bertacco, Baris Kasikci, Mohit Tiwari, Todd Austin, "Morpheus II: A RISC-V Security Extension for Protecting Vulnerable Software and Hardware" Austin Harris, Tarunesh Verma, Shijia Wei, Alex Kisil, Misiker Tadesse Aga, Valeria Bertacco, Baris Kasikci, Mohit Tiwari, Todd Austin,in Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust(HOST).

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Morpheus II is a secure processor designed to prevent control flow attacks. Morpheus II strengthens the defenses of the Morpheus processor, by deploying always-on encryption to obfuscate code and pointers along with runtime churn to thwart side-channel attacks. Focusing on Remote Code Execution attacks, we modified the RISCV Rocket core to support always-encrypted code and code pointers with negligible performance impact and less than 2% area overhead. Morpheus II was deployed running a web server interface to a mock medical database on AWS F1 instances, where it was red-teamed for three months by over 500 security researchers. No vulnerabilities were discovered in Morpheus II. In addition, we evaluated Morpheus II against a range of CWE attack classes including a Blind ROP attack on the web server. We show that Morpheus II defenses increase Blind ROP probe time for gadgets from weeks to likely thousands of years.


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I am currently a graduate student working on a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering in the SPARK Research Lab. I am supervised by Professor Mohit Tiwari.

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