Centauri: Practical Rowhammer Fingerprinting

Hari Venugopalan, Kaustav Goswami, Zainul Abi Din, Jason Lowe-Power, Samuel T. King, Zubair Shafiq

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Fingerprinters leverage the heterogeneity in hardware and software configurations to extract a device fingerprint. Fingerprinting countermeasures attempt to normalize these attributes such that they present a uniform fingerprint across different devices or present different fingerprints for the same device each time. We present Centauri, a Rowhammer fingerprinting approach that can build a unique and stable fingerprints even across devices with homogeneous or normalized/obfuscated hardware and software configurations. To this end, Centauri leverages the process variation in the underlying manufacturing process that gives rise to unique distributions of Rowhammer-induced bit flips across different DRAM modules. Centauri’s design and implementation is able to overcome memory allocation constrains without requiring root privileges. Our evaluation on a test bed of about one hundred DRAM modules shows that system achieves 99.91% fingerprinting accuracy. Centauri’s fingerprints are also stable with daily experiments over a period of 10 days revealing no loss in fingerprinting accuracy. We show that Centauri is efficient, taking as little as 9.92 seconds to extract a fingerprint. Centauri is the first practical Rowhammer fingerprinting approach that is able to extract unique and stable fingerprints efficiently and at-scale.


Hari Venugopalan, Zainul Abi Din, Jason Lowe-Power, Samuel T. King, and Zubair Shafiq. 2024. Centauri: Practical Rowhammer Fingerprinting. arXiv preprint arXiv:2307.00143, 2023. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.2307.00143.

      title={Centauri: Practical Rowhammer Fingerprinting}, 
      author={Hari Venugopalan and Kaustav Goswami and Zainul Abi Din and Jason Lowe-Power and Samuel T. King and Zubair Shafiq},