Towards cryptographically-authenticated in-memory data structures

Setareh Ghorshi, Lachlan J. Gunn, Hans Liljestrand, N. Asokan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Modern processors include high-performance cryptographic functionalities such as Intel's AES- NI and ARM's Pointer Authentication that allow programs to efficiently authenticate data held by the program. Pointer Authentication is already used to protect return addresses in recent Apple devices, but as yet these structures have seen little use for the protection of general program data. In this paper, we show how cryptographically-authenticated data structures can be used to protect against attacks based on memory corruption, and show how they can be efficiently realized using widely available hardware-assisted cryptographic mechanisms. We present realizations of secure stacks and queues with minimal overall performance overhead (3.4%-6.4% slowdown of the OpenCV core performance tests), and provide proofs of correctness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 IEEE Secure Development Conference, SecDev 2022
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-7182-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE Secure Development Conference - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 18 Oct 202220 Oct 2022


ConferenceIEEE Secure Development Conference
Abbreviated titleSecDev
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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