Cybersecurity researchers are developing a new CPU called Morpheus, which turns a PC into a complex puzzle to prevent attackers from hacking the system.
It is being developed by scientists from the University of Michigan, and the new processor was also part of the DARPA program (U.S. Defense Advanced Research Program Agency) called SSITH (security integrated through hardware and firmware).
During testing, 580 researchers tried to hack this CPU, spent 13,000 hours, and none managed to break through the protection. In an interview with the IEEE Spectrum, Todd Austin, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at that university, pointed out that Morpheus is a secure processor that “turns a computer into a puzzle”.
“Our idea was that if we could make it difficult for any exploitation to work on it, then we wouldn’t have to worry about individual exploits. We made it so hard to understand that an attacker would be discouraged from trying to attack at all. The challenge was to make such a CPU that is tiring for attackers and that will not affect normal developers, “Austin revealed, as reported by BGR.
He added that this CPU would stop attacks like Specter and Meltdown, such an attack happened a couple of years ago, along with other hacks that rely on pointers and codes. The professor explained how “undefined semantics” are used to prevent attackers, but also to make things look normal for an ordinary programmer.
The processor uses the Simon encryption algorithm as its key cryptography mechanism. The change in encryption happens every 100 milliseconds, which prevents hackers from trying to infiltrate the chips. Austin notes that the current version of this CPU cannot stop more sophisticated browser attacks, as was the case with Google Chrome a few months ago, but also points out that they can prevent RCE (Remote code execution).”RCE means I can set the code on your machine without you even being aware of it. I do not even have to use fishing methods, I do not have to convince you to run a program, nor do I have to trick you into running my program. I just put it in your machine, “Austin explained how RCE works.
By: Deya – Gossip Whispers