On January 22, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Dr. Guru Venkataramani and his former Ph.D. student, Jie Chen, US Patent #10,185,824 for the invention “System and Method for Uncovering Covert Timing Channels.” The invention identifies hardware events in computer processors behind timing channel-based information leakage attacks, and has innovative hardware algorithm designs to detect these security attacks during system runtime. These timing channels were exploited in the now infamous Meltdown and Spectre widely reported in the news earlier this year. The inventions span detection of timing channel activity in both combinational and sequential hardware structures in processor architectures. A preliminary version of the detection framework was debuted at the prestigious 47th IEEE International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO), 2014 held in Cambridge, UK.
January 28, 2019