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­Unhackable: New Chip Stops Attacks Before They Start


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The MORPHEUS chip blocks potential attacks by encrypting and randomly reshuffling key bits of its own code and data 20 times per second.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed a computer chip architecture that could enable proactive defense against cyberthreats.

Credit: Getty Images

University of Michigan (U-M) researchers have designed a new computer chip architecture that could enable proactive defense against cyberthreats.

The MORPHEUS chip obstructs potential attacks with security measures baked into its hardware, encrypting and randomizing key code bits and data 20 times each second, outperforming both human hackers and the fastest hacking methods.

U-M's Todd Austin said, "With MORPHEUS, even if a hacker finds a bug, the information needed to exploit it vanishes 50 milliseconds later. It's perhaps the closest thing to a future-proof secure system."

The researchers' prototype RISC-V chip successfully thwarted all known iterations of control-flow attack, and its rate of randomization, or churn, can be tuned to balance out maximized security and minimized resource consumption.

From University of Michigan News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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