Hardware Security


Course Objective

This course covers the security of computer hardware (e.g., CPU and the
memory subsystem) with a special focus on cutting-edge hands-on research
in the area. The aim of the course is familiarizing you with the
emerging field of hardware security and more specifically
microarchitectural and circuit-level attacks through lectures,
reviewing/discussing papers and replicating some of these attacks. This
is the course where you get credit points by building some of the most
advanced exploits on the planet! The luckiest team will collect the
infamous Best Demo Award given each year at the end of the course.

By the end of the course, you will know about security problems of
commodity hardware that we use everyday and how you can defend against
them. Furthermore, you will learn the necessary skills for being
critical when writing reviews and discussing papers as well as dealing
with problems that surface when performing cutting edge research work.
You will find these skills useful during your literature study and
master thesis project.

Course Content

The course is divided in three parts: lectures, paper reviewing and
practical assignments. In the first few weeks, you will get familiar
with the basics of hardware security and classical attacks. The first
practical assignments are tailored to familiarize you with security
mechanisms and basics of hardware attacks. After that, we will delve
into more advanced hardware attacks and defenses. We do this by writing
reviews on relevant papers and replicating one of the few selected
recent VUSec hardware attacks. Topics will range from Rowhammer to side
channels and will go deep in the internals of operating systems and
hardware components.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and practical assignments.

Method of Assessment

The final grade is composed of the quality of reviews and discussions in
the class (30%), the correctness of solutions to the individual
assignments and answers based on oral discussions about the assignments
(30%), and the quality of the solution of the group project (40%).

There is no resit opportunity for these components.

Entry Requirements

Computer and Network Security (X_400127)


No set book. All material will be made available during the course.

Target Audience


Recommended background knowledge

Knowledge of operating systems, C, computer architecture and a keen
interest on understanding how things work under the hood.

General Information

Course Code XM_40019
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. K. Razavi
Examiner dr. K. Razavi
Teaching Staff dr. K. Razavi
dr. C. Giuffrida

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: