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Proceedings Paper

Architecture of security management unit for safe hosting of multiple agents
Author(s): Tanguy Gilmont; Jean-Didier Legat; Jean-Jacques Quisquater
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Paper Abstract

In such growing areas as remote applications in large public networks, electronic commerce, digital signature, intellectual property and copyright protection, and even operating system extensibility, the hardware security level offered by existing processors is insufficient. They lack protection mechanisms that prevent the user from tampering critical data owned by those applications. Some devices make exception, but have not enough processing power nor enough memory to stand up to such applications (e.g. smart cards). This paper proposes an architecture of secure processor, in which the classical memory management unit is extended into a new security management unit. It allows ciphered code execution and ciphered data processing. An internal permanent memory can store cipher keys and critical data for several client agents simultaneously. The ordinary supervisor privilege scheme is replaced by a privilege inheritance mechanism that is more suited to operating system extensibility. The result is a secure processor that has hardware support for extensible multitask operating systems, and can be used for both general applications and critical applications needing strong protection. The security management unit and the internal permanent memory can be added to an existing CPU core without loss of performance, and do not require it to be modified.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3657, Security and Watermarking of Multimedia Contents, (9 April 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.344697
Show Author Affiliations
Tanguy Gilmont, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Jean-Didier Legat, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Jean-Jacques Quisquater, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3657:
Security and Watermarking of Multimedia Contents
Ping Wah Wong; Edward J. Delp III, Editor(s)

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