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TALUS: Reinforcing TEE Confidentiality with Cryptographic Coprocessors


Platforms are nowadays typically equipped with trusted execution environments (TEEs), such as Intel SGX or ARM TrustZone. However, recent microarchitectural attacks on TEEs repeatedly broke their confidentiality guarantees, including the leakage of long-term cryptographic secrets. These systems are typically also equipped with a cryptographic coprocessor, such as a TPM or Google Titan. These coprocessors offer a unique set of security features focused on safeguarding cryptographic secrets. Still, despite their simultaneous availability, the integration between these technologies is practically nonexistent, which prevents them from benefitting from each other’s strengths. In this paper, we propose TALUS , a general design and a set of three main requirements for a secure symbiosis between TEEs and cryptographic coprocessors. We implement a proof-of-concept of TALUS based on Intel SGX and a hardware TPM. We show that with TALUS, the long-term secrets used in the SGX life cycle can be moved to the TPM. We demonstrate that our design is robust even in the presence of transient execution attacks, preventing an entire class of attacks due to the reduced attack surface on the shared hardware.

Conference / Medium

Financial Cryptography and Data Security - 27th International Conference, FC 2023

Date published


Date last modified

2023-02-10 21:03:24