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  • Cloud Cross-VM Attack

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A Cross-Virtual Machine Network Channel Attack via Mirroring and TAP Impersonation

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paper

Published
  • Atif Saeed
  • Peter Garraghan
  • Barnaby Craggs
  • Dirk van der Linden
  • Awais Rashid
  • Syed Asad Hussain
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Publication date2/07/2018
Host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing (CLOUD)
PublisherIEEE
Pages606-613
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538672358, 9781538672365
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Data privacy and security is a leading concern for providers and customers of cloud computing, where Virtual Machines (VMs) can co-reside within the same underlying physical machine. Side channel attacks within multi-tenant virtualized cloud environments are an established problem, where attackers are able to monitor and exfiltrate data from co-resident VMs. Virtualization services have attempted to mitigate such attacks by preventing VM-to-VM interference on shared hardware by providing logical resource isolation between co-located VMs via an internal virtual network. However, such approaches are also insecure, with attackers capable of performing network channel attacks which bypass mitigation strategies using vectors such as ARP Spoofing, TCP/IP steganography, and DNS poisoning. In this paper we identify a new vulnerability within the internal cloud virtual network, showing that through a combination of TAP impersonation and mirroring, a malicious VM can successfully redirect and monitor network traffic of VMs co-located within the same physical machine. We demonstrate the feasibility of this attack in a prominent cloud platform – OpenStack – under various security requirements and system conditions, and propose countermeasures for mitigation.

Bibliographic note

©2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.