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SIA: Secure Intermittent Architecture for Off-the-Shelf Resource-Constrained Microcontrollers

EasyChair Preprint no. 813

10 pagesDate: March 5, 2019


Recent advancements in energy-harvesting techniques provide an alternative to batteries for resource-constrained IoT devices and lead to a new computing paradigm, the intermittent computing model. In this model, a software module continues its execution from where it left off when an energy shortage occurred. Enforcing security of an intermittent software module is challenging because its power-off state has to be protected from a malicious adversary in addition to its power-on state, while the security mechanisms put in place must have a low overhead on the performance, resource consumption, and cost of a device.

In this paper, we propose SIA (Secure Intermittent Architecture), a security architecture for resource-constrained IoT devices. SIA leverages low-cost security features available in commercial off-the-shelf microcontrollers to protect both the power-on and power-off state of an intermittent software module. Therefore, SIA enables a host of secure intermittent computing applications such as self-attestation, remote attestation, and secure communication. Moreover, our architecture provides confidentiality and integrity guarantees to an intermittent computing module at no cost compared to previous approaches in the literature that impose significant overheads. The salient characteristic of SIA is that it does not require any hardware modifications, and hence, it can be directly applied to existing IoT devices.

We implemented and evaluated SIA on a resource-constrained IoT device based on an MSP430 processor. Besides being secure, SIA is simple and efficient. We confirm the feasibility of SIA for resource-constrained IoT devices with experimental results of several intermittent computing applications. Our prototype implementation outperforms by two to three orders of magnitude the secure intermittent computing solution of Suslowicz et al. presented at IGSC 2018.

Keyphrases: energy harvesting, Intermittent Computing, intermittent computing system, intermittent system, IoT device, Remote Attestation, resource-constrained microcontroller, secure intermittent architecture, secure intermittent computing, security architecture

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Daniel Dinu and Archanaa Santhana Krishnan and Patrick Schaumont},
  title = {SIA: Secure Intermittent Architecture for Off-the-Shelf Resource-Constrained Microcontrollers},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 813},
  doi = {10.29007/r9xz},
  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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