Intel Names Hardware Security Award Winners

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–What’s new: Today, Intel announced the winners of its second annual competition Intel Hardware Security Academic Award program, aimed at fostering innovative research into solutions, tools and methodologies to address fundamental security challenges and improve the industry’s ability to deliver safer and more reliable fundamental technologies.

“With the exponential growth of data and artificial intelligence (AI) across the computing spectrum, we have also seen increased sophistication and frequency of attacks. As an industry, it is imperative that we aim to protect sensitive data sets at all stages of the lifecycle – at rest, in transit and in use. Intel has a long history of working closely with university researchers to address big challenges through programs such as the Intel Labs Academic and University Research Grants, the Intel Bug Bounty program, and now through the Hardware Security Award. We value their insights and dedication, and together we are moving towards our shared vision of a safe and secure future.

– Sridhar Iyengar, Vice President of Intel Labs and Director of Security and Privacy Research

About the reward program: The Hardware Security Academic Award program is part of Intel’s commitment to collaborating with and advancing the security research community. The awards program invites academic researchers to submit a recently published paper demonstrating new research with significant impact on the hardware security ecosystem, including but not limited to Intel’s own products. Anand Rajan, senior director of the Emerging Security Lab at Intel Labs, presented this year’s awards at a reception in Boston that coincided with the USENIX Security Symposium.

The scope of this year’s program has been broadened to invite innovations in methodologies, tools and confidential manufacturing capabilities, in support of Intel Vision IDM 2.0 for a reliable and secure supply chain ecosystem. A Test of Time award has also been added to the program to honor papers published more than 10 years ago that have demonstrated significant and lasting impact in the field of security.

For researchers interested in submitting a paper for next year’s program, the submission window will be announced on the program page.

About prices: An Intel panel reviewed all submissions for viability, novelty, originality, and relevance with an emphasis on demonstrating significant contribution to and impact on the hardware security industry. This year’s nominees covered 34 papers, featuring more than 140 authors from academia and industry from 11 countries. One-time scholarships of $75,000 for first prize and $50,000 for second prize will be awarded to the winners’ educational institution to be used for further research or curriculum development. In addition to the grant, winning authors will have access to Intel’s pre-production virtual test environment to facilitate future research and will be invited to present their work at the invitation-only conference. Intel Security Conference (iSecCon) and will be featured on Intel’s Cyber ​​Security Inside Podcast.

About this year’s winners:

First place:A formal approach to privacy verification in SoCs at the registry transfer level

In this paper, researchers demonstrate how the Single Program Execution (UPEC) methodology can be used to reason about the privacy properties of a system-on-chip (SoC). The UPEC methodology uses an effective induction-based formulation for tracking information flows. While the original UPEC methodology was formulated for the micro-architectural detection of side channels for processors, this work shows how to generalize and scale this methodology for the privacy properties of SoCs. Their formulation works directly on Register Transfer Language (RTL) and has been integrated into a commercial backend tool, producing a one-of-a-kind and practically viable Pre-Si security verification technique.

The winning team included:

  • Johannes Müller, Technical University Kaiserslautern

  • Mohammad R. Fadiheh, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

  • Anna Lena Duque Antón, Technical University Kaiserslautern

  • Thomas Eisenbarth, Professor, University of Lübeck

  • Dominik Stoffel, Apl. Professor, Technical University Kaiserslautern

  • Wolfgang Kunz, Professor, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

Second place:Nyx: Fuzzing the Greybox hypervisor using fast snapshots and affine types

This research demonstrates how modern hardware features (Intel® Virtualization Technology, extended page tables [EPT]Intel® Processor Trace and Page Change Logging [PML]) can be used to create efficient and innovative security validation tools. The research has greatly improved the ability to test critical system software, ranging from embedded x86 firmware to drivers, hypervisors and future confidential compute stacks. In fact, within Intel’s Security Center of Excellence, researchers have already begun to leverage and evolve the technology, and the results have contributed to an even stronger software development lifecycle.

The winning team included:

  • Sergej Schumilo, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

  • Cornelius Aschermann, Ruhr-University Bochum

  • Thorsten Holz, Faculty, CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security

Time Trial Prize:AEGIS: Architecture for tamper-proof and tamper-proof processing

Published in 2003, this research describes a secure single-chip processor comprising a configuration in which the underlying system software is untrusted. The proposed architecture incorporated several ideas that were novel at the time, such as cryptographic measurement and attestation, memory integrity verification, and memory encryption. This work has helped inspire the broader field of trusted computing and practical realization of the new features can be found in a wide range of Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) deployed in the industry today.

The winning team included:

  • G. Edward Suh, Professor, Cornell University, Research Scientist, Meta AI

  • Dwaine Clarke, Lecturer, University of the West Indies

  • Blaise Gassend, Senior Software Engineer, Waymo

  • Marten van Dijk, Professor, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Affiliate Professor, University of Connecticut

  • Srinivas Devadas, Webster Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About Intel

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating breakthrough technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance semiconductor design and manufacturing to help solve our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence across the cloud, network, edge, and all types of computing devices, we unlock the potential of data to transform businesses and society for the better. To learn more about Intel’s innovations, visit newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.

No product or component can be absolutely safe.

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