Application Memory Isolation on Ultra-Low-Power MCUs


Taylor Hardin, Ryan Scott, Patrick Proctor, Josiah Hester, Jacob Sorber, and David Kotz. Application Memory Isolation on Ultra-Low-Power MCUs. Proceedings of the USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC), pages 127–132. USENIX Association, July 2018. ©Copyright the authors.


The proliferation of applications that handle sensitive user data on wearable platforms generates a critical need for embedded systems that offer strong security without sacrificing flexibility and long battery life. To secure sensitive information, such as health data, ultra-low-power wearables must isolate applications from each other and protect the underlying system from errant or malicious application code. These platforms typically use microcontrollers that lack sophisticated Memory Management Units (MMU). Some include a Memory Protection Unit (MPU), but current MPUs are inadequate to the task, leading platform developers to software-based memory-protection solutions. In this paper, we present our memory isolation technique, which leverages compiler inserted code and MPU-hardware support to achieve better runtime performance than software-only counterparts.

Citable with [BibTeX]

Projects: [amulet]

Keywords: [iot] [mhealth] [security] [wearable]

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