2022 article

Adaptive Security Support for Heterogeneous Memory on GPUs


By: S. Yuan n, A. Awad n, A. Yudha*, Y. Solihin* & H. Zhou n

author keywords: GPUs; secure memory; heterogeneous memory; encryption; integrity check; security metadata cache
Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 29, 2022

The wide use of accelerators such as GPUs necessities their security support Recent works [17], [33], [34] pointed out that directly adopting the CPU secure memory design to GPUs could incur significant performance overheads due to the memory bandwidth contention between regular data and security metadata. In this paper, we analyze the security guarantees that used to defend against physical attacks, and make the observation that heterogeneous GPU memory system may not always need all the security mechanisms to achieve the security guarantees. Based on the memory types as well as memory access patterns either explicitly specified in the GPU programming model or implicitly detected at run time, we propose adaptive security memory support for heterogeneous memory on GPUs. Specifically, we first identify the read-only data and propose to only use MAC (Message Authentication Code) to protect their integrity. By eliminating the freshness checks on read-only data, we can use an on-chip shared counter for such data regions and remove the corresponding parts in the Bonsai Merkel Tree (BMT), thereby reducing the traffic due to encryption counters and the BMT. Second, we detect the common streaming data access pattern and propose coarse- grain MACs for such stream data to reduce the MAC access bandwidth. With the hardware-based detection of memory type (read-only or not) and memory access patterns (streaming or not), our proposed approach adapts the security support to significantly reduce the performance overhead without sacrificing the security guarantees. Our evaluation shows that our scheme can achieve secure memory on GPUs with low overheads for memory-intensive workloads. Among the fifteen memory-intensive workloads in our evaluation, our design reduces the performance overheads of secure GPU memory from 53.9% to 8.09% on average. Compared to the state-of- the-art secure memory designs for GPU [17], [33], our scheme outperforms PSSM by up to 41.63% and 9.5% on average and outperforms Common counters by 84.04% on average for memory-intensive workloads. We further propose to use the L2 cache as a victim cache for security metadata when the L2 is either underutilized or suffers from very high miss rates, which further reduces the overheads by up to 4% and 0.65% on average.