A group of security researchers funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Air Force published an article describing a technique for stealing data from Apple and Qualcomm Arm processors, NVIDIA and AMD discrete graphics accelerators, and integrated graphics in chips. Intel and Apple. To do this, researchers use a third-party attack, which involves measuring certain physical parameters of the device.
As part of the new concept, the researchers used the information provided by the dynamic frequency and voltage scaling (DVFS) mechanism implemented in many modern chips. DVFS modulates frequency and power in real time to keep heat dissipation and TDP at an acceptable level, thereby providing either optimal energy efficiency or the best performance for the current task.
The concept of researchers involves the collection and analysis of data from internal power sensors, temperature and frequency of the processor. By making one of the three DVFS variables (power, heat, and operating frequency) constant, researchers can control the other two variables. Due to this, they can determine which instructions are being executed, and with precision that allows them to determine different operands of the same instruction.
The good news is that this technique is unlikely to be used by attackers in practice. After all, to collect data from internal sensors, you need direct access to the system. If an attacker gains direct access to the system, then most likely he will find an easier way to steal data.
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