I am Dave Jing Tian, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University working on system security. My research involves embedded systems, operating systems, and trusted computing. All opinions are my own.
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Author Archives: daveti
Intel SGX has been there in the market for while. Yet there are still a lot of misundrestandings and mysteries about this technology. This post provides an introduction to Intel SGX OwnerEpoch and Sealing, discusses their security impacts, and speculates … Continue reading
This post mainly talks about the correct usage of tsc counters provided by Intel x86/x86-64 architectures to measure the Linux kernel code execution time. Most of the content here is borrowed/inspired from . Note that this is NOT a post … Continue reading
Rowhammer attacks have been well known, and gotten a lot of publications already. However, we notice that most rowhammers happened on x86 architecture due to the easy access to clflush from the user space. ARM architecture (both ARMv7 and ARMv8) … Continue reading
Last time when I hacked the Linux kernel on Ubuntu, it was 4.4 on LTS 14.04. Time flies. Now I need to hack the kernel 4.13 again on LTS 16.04, and find the kernel build broken. It is fine that … Continue reading
This post follows the “Multics Simulator Instructions” (with some tweaks) to setup Multics simulator dps8m and run Multics on my Fedora 27. Other Linux distro (Ubuntu/Debian/Raspbian) may need some changes but basically work the same way. Experience the cutting-edge secure … Continue reading
SGX sealing is vulnerable to rollback attacks as the enclave is not able to tell if the sealed data is the latest or a old copy. To mitigate this attack, monotonic counter (MC) has been introduced in Intel SGX SDK … Continue reading
This post talks about list and charlist in Elixir, and discusses one specific issue in Elixir. Let’s look at the confusing thing in Elixir: iex(2)> a =  ‘\a’ iex(3)> b = ‘\a’ ‘\a’ iex(4)> a == b true iex(5)> … Continue reading
The naive way of using the Actor model in Elixir is using “receive” in a loop, which is then “spawn”d as a Erlang process. Unfortunately, a potential DoS attack could happen if the pattern matching is not coded carefully with … Continue reading
OTP as a programming platform/framework, empowers not only Erlang, but also Elixir. This post looks into a pitfall when programming GenServer in Elixir, and provides a potential solution. All callbacks in the GenServer behavior have a limited and pre-defined possible … Continue reading
Negative indexing in C, such as a[-1], is legit, although rarely used. There are reasons (pitfalls) why negative indexing is not recommended. This post discusses these pitfalls when using negative indexing (for fun). 1. Negative indexing within the bound In … Continue reading