Dawn Song Krste Asanović David Kohlbrenner
Dawn Song Krste Asanović David Kohlbrenner
Professor, EECS Professor, EECS Postdoc, EECS

Volunteer Teaching Assistant

Volunteer TA: Dayeol Lee


Time: Monday 10:00–11:30 am

Location: Soda 405

Office Hours

Contact David as needed. (

Piazza and Mailing List

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Course description

Secure hardware is an increasing part of all system designs, from TPMs in every laptop to hardware/software enclaves in every phone. Different types of secure hardware must make different security and performance tradeoffs and contend with different adversaries. We will discuss current and classic research papers in the area, as well as state of the art deployed designs. We will have a special focus on the development of hardware enclaves: secure hardware components designed to support verifiable and trusted execution of programs remotely.

The course is 3-units, and will consist of several research paper readings per week, in-class discussions of the papers, and a large course project per project group.

We require that students have taken at least one architecture course previously, and strongly recommend that students have a background in relevant security topics.

Course intro slides.


Date Topic Readings Talk Deadlines
08/27 Secure Hardware guest lecture Guest lecture by Paul Kocher
09/03 No Class, Labor Day Start on 9/10 readings
09/10 Enclaves I Deployed enclaves Team Formation Due 09/10
Discussion Questions 9/7
09/17 Side channel attacks on hardware Discussion Questions 9/14
09/24 Side channel defenses
  • TimeWarp
  • DAWG: A Defense Against Cache Timing Attacks in Speculative Execution Processors
  • OPTIONAL: Sanctum
Project Proposals Due 09/27
Discussion Questions 9/21
09/27 : 10am Office Hours on Speculative Attacks Bring any papers you have questions on! Location Soda 580
10/01 DRAM for secure hardware Discussion Questions 9/28
10/08 GPUs Discussion Questions 10/5
10/15 No class, ADEPT lab outing
10/22 Mitigation of side-channels and speculative attacks John Criswell Discussion Questions 10/19
10/29 Formal verification of hardware Sanjit Seshia Project Progress Report Due 10/29 - here

Discussion Questions 10/26
11/05 Physical and glitch attacks Discussion Questions 11/2
11/12 No Class, Veterans Day
11/19 FPGA remote physical side channels Discussion Questions 11/16
11/26 Project Presentations Instructions for paper and presentation here Project Report Due 11/30

Class format and project

This is a paper reading and project class. Each week, students are expected to complete reading assignments before class and participate actively in class discussion.

Students must submit a set of questions or ideas for discussion about the assigned papers, due Friday at noon before class. Submit weekly questions to the form linked in the deadlines section for that week.

Students will also form project groups and complete a research project. The final project/deliverable will be a team presentation and a paper/report on the project.

Some project ideas available here

Proposal guidelines, submit proposal here.

Paper and presentation instructions here.


Enrollment information

Enrollment space is limited for undergraduates. If you are an undergrad would like to enroll in the class, Please fill out this form. Accepted students will be given instructor codes to register for the class. Decisions for admission will be released on a rolling basis. Due to limited space, please apply as soon as possible.

Additional Notes

For students who need computing resources for the class project, we recommend you to look into AWS educate program for students. You’ll get 100 dollar’s worth of sign up credit. Here’s the link.