Towards Hardware-Based Application Fingerprinting with Microarchitectural Signals for Zero Trust Environments

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The interactions between software and hardware are increasingly important to computer system security. This research collects sequences of microprocessor control signals to develop machine learning models that identify software tasks. The proposed approach considers software task identification in hardware as a general problem with attacks treated as a subset of software tasks. Two lines of effort are presented. First, a data collection approach is described to extract sequences of control signals labeled by task identity during real (i.e., non-simulated) system operation. Second, experimental design is used to select hardware and software configuration to train and evaluate machine learning models. The machine learning models significantly outperform a naïve classifier based on Euclidean distances from class means. Various configurations produce balanced accuracy scores between 26.08% and 96.89%.


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Source Publication

Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2023