Hardware can defend your cloud

Ary Pleysier - Beach View with Boats - Wikimedia CommonsA group of researchers has started to implement security in silicon that can help thwart nosey parkers or criminals from understanding what data is in your cloud.

The MIT researchers said two years ago they proposed a method for preventing outsiders by checking the way computers access memory banks.

The researchers said that they’ve already tested their methods on reconfigurable semiconductors and are moving into manufacturing these devices.

The chip improves security by checking that when data is fetched from a memory address, it will query other address too.

Although this puts stress on a system because extra data is involved, the MIT team said they store the memory addresses in a tree-like data structure, with every address randomly assigned to a path through the tree.

The chip they’ve designed avoids a performance overhead by having an additional memory circuit, with storage slots mapped onto the nodes in any path through the tree.

It discards all redundant or decoy data.

The circuits the MIT scientists have designed can be easily added to existing semiconductor designs and switched off or on as needed. So software engineers may activate it only when it’s needed, while other applications could use it all the time.