Report Number: CS-TN-00-97
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Hardware Support for Tamper-Resistant and Copy-Resistant Software
Author: Boneh, Dan
Author: Lie, David
Author: Lincoln, Pat
Author: Mitchell, John
Author: Mitchell, Mark
Date: July 2000
Abstract: Although there have been many attempts to develop code transformations that yield tamper-resistant software, no reliable software-only methods are known. Motivated by numerous potential applications, we investigate a prototype hardware mechanism that supports software tamper-resistance with an atomic decrypt-and-execute operation. Our hardware architecture uses a novel combination of standard architectural units. As usual, security has its costs. In this design, the most difficult security tradeoffs involve testability and performance.