New ZeRØ and No-FAT technologies at the hardware level will protect computer memory from hacking
Experts from the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed two technologies that enhance the cybersecurity of computer systems at the hardware level.
The developments are presented at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA).
As the experts explained, most of the vulnerabilities in computer programs are associated with incorrect work with memory. Programmers in the C and C ++ languages, for example, can make a mistake when working with pointers to memory addresses or forget to check the boundaries of data arrays for integrity.
The first technology, called ZeRØ, ensures the correctness of pointers to memory addresses, as well as the safety of the code and data areas of the software. ZeRØ employs rigid and predefined access rules that can be implemented at the hardware level. The new design allows programs to continue running, even if a memory vulnerability is successfully exploited.
ZeRØ almost does not reduce software performance and does not require additional power consumption.
The second technology, called No-FAT , quickly checks and fixes the boundaries of allocated memory areas, preventing software disruptions. No-FAT splits memory into segments of different sizes and monitors their integrity. Experiments have shown that No-FAT reduces program performance by only 8%, showing the best performance among similar technologies.
Neither No-FAT nor ZeRØ requires any changes to the installed programs and can be easily implemented in hardware.
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