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Side-Channel Attacks on Everyday Applications

This repository contains the source code and experiment data accompanying Taylor Hornby's talk at Black Hat 2016 titled "Side-Channel Attacks on Everyday Applications."

  • blackhat: Black Hat talk stuff, like my CFP submission and talk slides.
  • cpsc502: Assignments for my undergraduate research project at the University of Calgary.
  • experiments: Experiment implementations and all saved experiment run data.
  • flush-reload: Attack tools, including:
    • flush-reload/original-from-authors: The original authors' implementaiton of Flush+Reload.
    • flush-reload/myversion: My rewrite of the Flush+Reload attack tool.
      • flush-reload/myversion/ruby: The high-level attack tools.
      • flush-reload/myversion/automation: Automated probe-finding tools.
    • flush-reload/cachebench: A tool for timing the difference between cached and non-cached memory accesses.
    • flush-reload/rdtsc-consistency: A tool to check if the RDTSC timestamp behaves monotonically.
  • paper: The LaTeX source code to the accompanying paper.
  • source: Source files, e.g. the PDF files for the libpoppler input distinguishing attack.

Getting Started

For step-by-step instructions to perform an attack on your own system, see the Getting Started Guide.


This most recent version of this code lives on GitHub. Pull requests are welcome, although I have very limited time to review and merge them. Please fork this project if I'm inhibiting your progress!


The code directly inside the flush-reload folder was provided by Yuval Yarom, one of the authors of FLUSH+RELOAD: a High Resolution, Low Noise, L3 Cache Side-Channel Attack. The code inside flush-reload/myversion is a complete re-write, based on the original code.

I would like to thank Prof. John Aycock at the University of Calgary for serving as my advisor when I was working on this project for my undergrad thesis. Our discussions helped carry the project to the results included here. He also contributed edits and improvements to an earlier version of the paper.


Taylor's contact information is available on his website.