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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Clemson University
  • Zhenkai Zhang
  • (615) 779-3046
Award Date:09/19/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 200,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 200,000
  • FY 2021=$200,000
Start Date:07/15/2021
End Date:01/31/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:SaTC: CORE: Small: Leveraging Physical Side-Channel Information to Build Detection-Based Rowhammer Defenses
Federal Award ID Number:2147217
DUNS ID:042629816
Parent DUNS ID:042629816
Program:Secure &Trustworthy Cyberspace
Program Officer:
  • Daniela Oliveira
  • (703) 292-4352

Awardee Location

Street:230 Kappa Street
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Clemson
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

Preventing a process from modifying a memory it does not own is a cornerstone of security. However, this essential protection has recently come under threat due to the discovery of a vulnerability, known as the Rowhammer for dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). It has been found that this vulnerability commonly exists in DRAM chips and can be exploited to form a wide range of powerful attacks. Defending against Rowhammer attack remains a challenging problem. This project aims to solve this problem by developing novel detection-based defense techniques. The project has 3 major thrusts. Thrust 1 will analyze certain inevitable physical side effects of computation (e.g., electromagnetic radiation, acoustic emanation, and power consumption) to discover malicious hammering. Thrust 2 will design and implement deployable defense techniques based on the discovered physical side-channel information which can robustly detect and promptly thwart any potential Rowhammer attacks, including elusive ones hidden inside trusted execution environments. Thrust 3 concerns experiments and evaluation to quantify and demonstrate the significance of the project. The techniques developed in this project may impact industry and help practitioners design more secure and dependable systems. Code, data, publications, presentations, will be released publicly. A project repository will be maintained on CPS-VO ( for at least 5 years. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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