Stockade: Hardware Hardening for Distributed Trusted Sandboxes

by   Joongun Park, et al.

The widening availability of hardware-based trusted execution environments (TEEs) has been accelerating the adaptation of new applications using TEEs. Recent studies showed that a cloud application consists of multiple distributed software modules provided by mutually distrustful parties. The applications use multiple TEEs (enclaves) communicating through software-encrypted memory channels. Such execution model requires bi-directional protection: protecting the rest of the system from the enclave module with sandboxing and protecting the enclave module from a third-part module and operating systems. However, the current TEE model, such as Intel SGX, cannot efficiently represent such distributed sandbox applications. To overcome the lack of hardware supports for sandboxed TEEs, this paper proposes an extended enclave model called Stockade, which supports distributed sandboxes hardened by hardware. Stockade proposes new three key techniques. First, it extends the hardware-based memory isolation in SGX to confine a user software module only within its enclave. Second, it proposes a trusted monitor enclave that filters and validates systems calls from enclaves. Finally, it allows hardware-protected memory sharing between a pair of enclaves for efficient protected communication without software-based encryption. Using an emulated SGX platform with the proposed extensions, this paper shows that distributed sandbox applications can be effectively supported with small changes of SGX hardware.


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