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Security aspects of FPGA and virtualization case studies

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Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn


Virtualization technology is a technology that has been integrated a lot lately, thanks to its interoperability and enhanced performances. An essential element in virtualization is the hypervisor that is responsible of managing virtual machines; it allows various guest operating systems (OS) to run on one hardware entity simultaneously. Many researchers recognized the challenge of allowing multiple critical applications to share one hardware platform without interfering, and ensuring security of transactions a major safety and security challenge in virtualization. Usually, security by design is also comprises the protection of intellectual property (IP), possible safety related damages and extend financial losses. By the extension of the usage of programmable logic outside commercial markets to avionics and military applications, security by design integrates extra aspects to ensure safety and cybersecurity. Solutions for protecting application data during transmission and storage exist, but solutions for protecting Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) configuration data are not well-known. In the context of Industry 4.0, the FPGA hardware solutions provide the needed level of flexibility and performance. The flexibility, portability and even, to a wide extent, technology independence are due to the software based definition of the hardware via Hardware Description Languages (HDL). In this paper, threats and vulnerabilities surrounding FPGAs will be addressed. An example of a type 1 hypervisor called XtratuM will be ported on top of a Xilinx Soc 7000 zc706 will be integrated, as well as a prototype of embedded system using PetaLinux will be provided.


Tellabi, Asmaa; Sabri, Abdelbast; Ruland, Christoph; Waedt, Karl (2021): Security aspects of FPGA and virtualization case studies. INFORMATIK 2021. DOI: 10.18420/informatik2021-154. Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn. PISSN: 1617-5468. ISBN: 978-3-88579-708-1. pp. 1771-1780. Standardization Workshop on Industrial Automation and Control Systems (6thIACSWS’21). Berlin. 27. September - 1. Oktober 2021