Trustworthy Systems

A survey of microarchitectural timing attacks and countermeasures on contemporary hardware


Qian Ge, Yuval Yarom, David Cock and Gernot Heiser


ETH Zurich

UNSW Sydney

The University of Adelaide


Microarchitectural timing channels expose hidden hardware states though timing.We survey recent attacks that exploit microarchitectural features in shared hardware, especially as they are relevant for cloud computing.We classify types of attacks according to a taxonomy of the shared resources leveraged for such attacks. Moreover, we take a detailed look at attacks used against shared caches. We survey existing countermeasures. We finally discuss trends in attacks, challenges to combating them, and future directions, especially with respect to hardware support.

BibTeX Entry

    author           = {Ge, Qian and Yarom, Yuval and Cock, David and Heiser, Gernot},
    date             = {2018-4-1},
    doi              = {},
    issn             = {2190-8508},
    issue            = {1},
    journal          = {Journal of Cryptographic Engineering},
    keywords         = {Microarchitectural timing attacks, Cache-based timing attacks, Countermeasures, Trend in the attacks},
    month            = apr,
    pages            = {1-27},
    paperurl         = {},
    publisher        = {Springer},
    title            = {{A} Survey of Microarchitectural Timing Attacks and Countermeasures on Contemporary Hardware},
    volume           = {8},
    year             = {2018}