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Uncovering In-DRAM RowHammer Protection Mechanisms: A New Methodology, Custom RowHammer Patterns, and Implications


Abstract: "The RowHammer vulnerability in DRAM is a critical threat to system security. To protect against RowHammer, vendors commit to security-through-obscurity: modern DRAM chips rely on undocumented, proprietary, on-die mitigations, commonly known as Target Row Refresh (TRR). At a high level, TRR detects and refreshes potential RowHammer-victim rows, but its exact are not openly disclose... » read more

Improving DRAM Performance, Security, and Reliability by Understanding and Exploiting DRAM Timing Parameter Margins


Abstract: "Characterization of real DRAM devices has enabled findings in DRAM device properties, which has led to proposals that significantly improve overall system performance by reducing DRAM access latency and power consumption. In addition to improving system performance, a deeper understanding of DRAM technology via characterization can also improve device reliability and security. The... » read more

A Deeper Look into RowHammer’s Sensitivities: Experimental Analysis of Real DRAM Chips and Implications on Future Attacks and Defenses


Abstract "RowHammer is a circuit-level DRAM vulnerability where repeatedly accessing (i.e., hammering) a DRAM row can cause bit flips in physically nearby rows. The RowHammer vulnerability worsens as DRAM cell size and cell-to-cell spacing shrink. Recent studies demonstrate that modern DRAM chips, including chips previously marketed as RowHammer-safe, are even more vulnerable to RowHammer than... » read more

SMASH: Synchronized Many-sided Rowhammer Attacks from JavaScript


Authors: Finn de Ridder, ETH Zurich and VU Amsterdam; Pietro Frigo, Emanuele Vannacci, Herbert Bos, and Cristiano Giuffrida, VU Amsterdam; Kaveh Razavi, ETH Zurich Abstract: "Despite their in-DRAM Target Row Refresh (TRR) mitigations, some of the most recent DDR4 modules are still vulnerable to many-sided Rowhammer bit flips. While these bit flips are exploitable from native code, tri... » read more

Is There a Practical Test For Rowhammer Vulnerability?


Rowhammer is proving to be a difficult DRAM issue to fix. While efforts continue to mitigate or eliminate the effect, no solid solution has yet made it to volume production. In addition, more aggressive process nodes are expected to exacerbate the problem. In the absence of a fix, then, testing may be one way to give DRAM manufacturers and users some way to segregate devices that are more su... » read more

DRAM’s Persistent Threat To Chip Security


A well-known DRAM vulnerability called "rowhammer," which allows an assailant to disrupt or take control of a system, continues to haunt the chip industry. Solutions have been tried, and new ones are being proposed, but the potential for a major attack persists. First discovered some five years ago, most of the efforts to eliminate the "rowhammer" threat have done little more than mitigate t... » read more

More Data, More Memory-Scaling Problems


Memories of all types are facing pressures as demands grow for greater capacity, lower cost, faster speeds, and lower power to handle the onslaught of new data being generated daily. Whether it's well-established memory types or novel approaches, continued work is required to keep scaling moving forward as our need for memory grows at an accelerating pace. “Data is the new economy of this ... » read more