A Tale of Unrealized Hope: Hardware Performance Counter Against Cache Attacks
This paper investigates an emerging cache side channel attack defense approach involving the use of hardware performance counters (HPCs). These counters monitor microarchitectural events and analyze statistical deviations to differentiate between malicious and benign software. With numerous proposals and promising reported results, we seek to investigate whether published HPC-based detection methods are evaluated in a proper setting and under the right assumptions, such that their quality can be ensured for real-word deployment against cache side-channel attacks. To achieve this goal, this paper presents a comprehensive evaluation and scrutiny of existing literature on the subject matter in a form of a survey, accompanied by experimental evidences to support our evaluation.