CARE: Lightweight Attack Resilient Secure Boot Architecture with Onboard Recovery for RISC-V based SOC

Avani Dave1, Nilanjan Banerjee2, Chintan Patel3
1University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2Assistant Professor, UMBC, 3UMBC


Recent technological advancements have proliferated the use of small embedded devices for collecting, processing, and transferring the security-critical information. The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled remote access and control of these network-connected devices. Consequently, an attacker can exploit security vulnerabilities and compromise these devices. In this context, the secure boot becomes a useful security mechanism to verify the integrity and authenticity of the software state of the devices. However, the current secure boot schemes focus on detecting the presence of potential malware on the device but not on disinfecting and restoring the software to a benign state. This manuscript presents CARE - the first secure boot framework that provides malicious code modification attack detection, resilience, and onboard recovery mechanism for the compromised devices. The framework uses a prototype hybrid CARE: Code Authentication and Resilience Engine to verify the integrity and authenticity of the software and restore it to a benign state. It uses Physical Memory Protection (PMP) and other security enchaining techniques (secureIbex) of RISC-V processor to provide resilience from modern attacks. The state-of-the-art comparison and performance analysis results indicate that the proposed secure boot framework provides promising resilience and recovery mechanism with very little (8%) performance and resource overhead.