ScaRR: Scalable Runtime Remote Attestation for Complex Systems

Published in The 22nd International Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusions and Defenses, 2019

Authors: Flavio Toffalini, Eleonora Losiouk, Andrea Biondo, Jianying Zhou, Mauro Conti

The introduction of remote attestation (RA) schemes has allowed academia and industry to enhance the security of their systems. The commercial products currently available enable only the validation of static properties, such as applications fingerprint, and do not handle runtime properties, such as control-flow correctness. This limitation pushed researchers towards the identification of new approaches, called runtime RA. However, those mainly work on embedded devices, which share very few common features with complex systems, such as virtual machines in a cloud. A naive deployment of runtime RA schemes for embedded devices on complex systems faces scalability problems, such as the representation of complex control-flows or slow verification phase.
In this work, we present ScaRR: the first Scalable Runtime Remote attestation schema for complex systems. Thanks to its novel control-flow model, ScaRR enables the deployment of runtime RA on any application regardless of its complexity, by also achieving good performance. We implemented ScaRR and tested it on the benchmark suite SPEC CPU 2017. We show that ScaRR can validate on average 2M control-flow events per second, definitely outperforming existing solutions.