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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

New Research Offers Security For Virtualization, Cloud Computing


North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers have developed HyperSafe, software for resolving security concerns related to data privacy in virtualization and cloud computing. A key threat to virtualization and cloud computing is malicious software that enables computer viruses to spread to the underlying hypervisor, which allows different operating systems to run in isolation from one another, and eventually to the systems of other users. HyperSafe leverages existing hardware features to secure hypervisors against such attacks.

"We can guarantee the integrity of the underlying hypervisor by protecting it from being compromised by any malware downloaded by an individual user," says NCSU professor Xuxian Jiang.

HyperSafe uses non-bypassable memory lockdown, which blocks the introduction of new code by anyone other than the hypervisor administrator. HyperSafe also uses restricted pointer indexing, which characterizes a hypervisor's normal behavior and prevents any deviation from that profile.

From NCSU News
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