Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Paul Williams, PhD


This research explores how hardware-based primitives can be implemented to perform security-related monitoring in real-time, offer better security, and increase performance compared to software-based approaches. In doing this, we propose a novel computing architecture, derived from a contemporary shared memory architecture, that facilitates efficient security-related monitoring in real-time, while keeping the monitoring hardware itself safe from attack. This architecture is flexible, allowing security to be tailored based on the needs of the system. We have developed a number of hardware-based primitives that fit into this architecture to provide a wide array of monitoring capabilities. A number of these primitives provide capabilities, such as multi-context monitoring and virtual memory introspection, that were not previously possible at the hardware level. Not only does this allow for more robust security-related monitoring when compared to software-based approaches, it also allows the security-related monitoring concepts presented in this research to be applied across a broad range of computing environments.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number