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Home>News>2014>Air Force contracts IAI to develop a Trusted Computing Base for Virtual Machines

Air Force contracts IAI to develop a Trusted Computing Base for Virtual Machines

Virtualization is used in a wide range of applications including cloud computing, security analysis, and data centers . In a virtualized system, a layer of software, called the hypervisor, virtualizes the CPU, memory, and I/O devices, presenting them to different virtual machines (VMs), and providing server consolidation, fault isolation, and load balance. However, widely used commodity hypervisors like KVM and Xen are not as secure and reliable as expected, and a compromise in the hypervisor or the virtual devices can lead to a breakdown of the isolation guarantee and live migration capabilities. Newly proposed hypervisors like NoHype and DeHype reduce the hypervisor attack surface, but they sacrifice the support for VM live migration. To address this, IAI is working to develop a lightweight hypervisor, called SecureVirt for cloud computing. SecureVirt can securely isolate VMs running concurrently on the same hardware resources with two components, TinyHype and the Virtual Machine manager. TinyHype performs the most fundamental functions and VM manager emulates I/O devices and networks for the VMs. SecureVirt is built on a microkernel-type architecture, where TinyHype runs at the highest privileged level and virtualizes the underlying hardware resources, while the VM manager runs at a lesser privileged level. This architecture significantly reduces the attack surface of TinyHype, while supporting VM live migration. TinyHype also adopts a static CPU core and memory allocation to simplify its functions and reduce its code size. SecureVirt provides the user with secure VM isolation and a verifiable computing base. It is applicable to a wide range of network infrastructures, and its flexible, customizable architecture is adaptable to various hardware platforms including integration with third party modules.

About IAI:
Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a technology innovation company headquartered in Rockville, MD. We specialize in providing advanced technology solutions and R&D services to federal agencies, and corporations throughout the United States and internationally. Leveraging agile R&D processes, a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment, and its substantial intellectual property portfolio, IAI excels in developing concepts into market-focused products and customer-driven solutions. IAI’s core R&D areas include: Air Traffic Management, Big Data and Social Media Analytics, Control and Signal Processing, Cyber Security, Education and Training Technologies, Health Technologies, Modeling and Simulation, Networks and Communications, Robotics, and Sensor Systems. For more information on IAI, please visit www.i-a-i.com.

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