Onur Mutlu gave a keynote talk at CFED Workshop on Resilient Systems (WRS)

Onur Mutlu gave the keynote talk entitled "The RowHammer Problem and Other Issues We May Face as Memory Becomes Denser" at Center for Advancing Electronics Dreseden (CFED) Workshop on Resilient Systems (WRS), Dresden, Germany.


We will discuss the RowHammer problem in DRAM and how it poses a new system-wide security vulnerability. RowHammer is the phenomenon that repeatedly accessing a row in a modern DRAM chip causes errors in physically-adjacent rows. It is caused by a hardware failure mechanism called read disturb errors. The Google Zero Project recently demonstrated that this hardware phenomenon can be exploited by user-level programs to gain kernel privileges. Several other recent works work demonstrated other attacks exploiting RowHammer, including remote takeover of a server vulnerable to RowHammer. We will analyze the root causes of the problem and examine solution directions. We will also discuss what other problems may be lurking in DRAM and other types of memories, e.g., NAND flash and Phase Change Memory, which can potentially threaten the foundations of reliable and secure systems, as the memory technologies scale to higher densities.