Intel Hardware Security Award for CASA Transfer Project

The team received second place.

The paper “Nyx: Greybox Hypervisor Fuzzing using Fast Snapshots and Affine Types” by Sergej Schumilo, Cornelius Aschermann und Thorsten Holz won the second place in Intel’s Hardware Security Academic Award program. The researchers will be granted with 50.000 US Dollar and receive access to Intel’s virtual pre-production test environment to support future research. The winners were announced at the prestigious USENIX Security conference in Boston. The paper focuses on modern hardware features and their ability to build effective security validation tools. The research project was created as part of the CASA Transfer Lab, which aims to bridge cutting-edge research results with real-world applications.

About the paper

This research demonstrates how modern hardware features (Intel® Virtualization Technology, extended page tables [EPT], Intel® Processor Trace, and page-modification logging [PML]) can be used to build effective and innovative security validation tools. The research has greatly improved the ability to test critical system software, ranging from embedded x86 firmware, to drivers, hypervisors and future confidential compute stacks. In fact, within Intel’s Security Center of Excellence, researchers have already begun to leverage and evolve the technology, and the results have contributed to an even stronger software development lifecycle (to the paper).

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