IFIP SEC 2018, Abstract of the talk

An Evaluation of Bucketing in Systems with Non-Deterministic Timing Behavior

Yuri Gil Dantas, Richard Gay, Tobias Hamann, Heiko Mantel, and Johannes Schickel
Department of Computer Science, TU Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract. Timing side-channel vulnerabilities constitute a serious threat against privacy and confidentiality of data. In this article, we study the effects of bucketing, a previously proposed mitigation technique against timing side channels. We present two implementations of bucketing that reside at the application and at the kernel level, respectively. We experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of these implementations in a setting with non-deterministic timing behavior, a practically relevant setting that has not been studied before. Our results show that the impact of non-deterministic timing behavior is substantial. The bucket boundaries cannot be established sharply and this reduces the effectiveness of bucketing. Nevertheless, bucketing still provides a significant reduction of side-channel capacity.

The paper published in the IFIP SEC 2018 confeence proceedings by Springer Verlag