Device-Based Isolation for Securing Cryptographic Keys
Elish, Karim O.
Yao, Danfeng (Daphne)
Kafura, Dennis G.
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In this work, we describe an eective device-based isolation approach for achieving data security. Device-based isolation leverages the proliferation of personal computing devices to provide strong run-time guarantees for the condentiality of secrets. To demonstrate our isolation approach, we show its use in protecting the secrecy of highly sensitive data that is crucial to security operations, such as cryptographic keys used for decrypting ciphertext or signing digital signatures. Private key is usually encrypted when not used, however, when being used, the plaintext key is loaded into the memory of the host for access. In our threat model, the host may be compromised by attackers, and thus the condentiality of the host memory cannot be preserved. We present a novel and practical solution and its prototype called DataGuard to protect the secrecy of the highly sensitive data through the storage isolation and secure tunneling enabled by a mobile handheld device. DataGuard can be deployed for the key protection of individuals or organizations.