Security Services on an Optimized Thin Hypervisor for Embedded Systems

Do, Viktor (2011) Security Services on an Optimized Thin Hypervisor for Embedded Systems. Masters thesis, Faculty of Engineering LTH at Lund University.

PDF (Master Thesis) - Accepted Version


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.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
ID Code:4172
Deposited By:Viktor Do
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 11:03
Last Modified:17 Jan 2013 11:24

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