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Security Services on an Optimized Thin Hypervisor for Embedded Systems
RISE, Swedish ICT, SICS. Electrical and Information Technology.
Number of Authors: 1
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Virtualization has been used in computer servers for a long time as a means to improve utilization, isolation and management. In recent years, embedded devices have become more powerful, increasingly connected and able to run applications on open source commodity operating systems. It only seems natural to apply these virtualization techniques on embedded systems, but with another objective. In computer servers, the main goal was to share the powerful computers with multiple guests to maximize utilization. In embedded systems the needs are different. Instead of utilization, virtualization can be used to support and increase security by providing isolation and multiple secure execution environments for its guests. This thesis presents the design and implementation of a security application, and demonstrates how a thin software virtualization layer developed by SICS can be used to increase the security for a single FreeRTOS guest on an ARM platform. In addition to this, the thin hypervisor was also analyzed for improvements in respect to footprint and overall performance. The selected improvements were then applied and verified with profiling tools and benchmark tests. Our results show that a thin hypervisor can be a very flexible and efficient software solution to provide a secure and isolated execution environment for security critical applications. The applied optimizations reduced the footprint of the hypervisor by over 52%, while keeping the performance overhead at a manageable level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011, 27.
National Category
Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-23605OAI: diva2:1042681
Available from: 2016-10-31 Created: 2016-10-31

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