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A survey of microarchitectural timing attacks and countermeasures on contemporary hardware


Qian Ge, Yuval Yarom, David Cock and Gernot Heiser



University of Adelaide


Microarchitectural timing channels expose hidden hardware state though timing. We survey recent attacks that exploit microarchitectural features in shared hardware, especially as they are relevant for cloud computing. We classify types of attacks according to a taxonomy of the shared resources leveraged for such attacks. Moreover, we take a detailed look at attacks used against shared caches. We survey existing countermeasures. We finally discuss trends in the attacks, challenges to combating them, and future directions, especially with respect to hardware support.

BibTeX Entry

    doi              = {10.1007/s13389-016-0141-6},
    journal          = {Journal of Cryptographic Engineering},
    author           = {Ge, Qian and Yarom, Yuval and Cock, David and Heiser, Gernot},
    month            = dec,
    volume           = {-},
    year             = {2016},
    keywords         = {microarchitectural timing attacks, cache-based timing attacks, countermeasures, trend in the attacks},
    title            = {A Survey of Microarchitectural Timing Attacks and Countermeasures on Contemporary Hardware},
    pages            = {1-27}


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