Secure hypervisor versus trusted execution environment : Security analysis for mobile fingerprint identification applications

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Databas och informationsteknik; Linköpings universitet/Databas och informationsteknik

Abstract: Fingerprint identification is becoming increasingly popular as a means of authentication for handheld devices of different kinds. In order to secure such an authentication solution it is common to use a TEE implementation. This thesis examines the possibility of replacing a TEE with a hypervisor-based solution instead, with the intention of keeping the same security features that a TEE can offer. To carry out the evaluation a suitable method is constructed. This method makes use of fault trees to be able to find possible vulnerabilities in both systems, and these vulnerabilities are then documented. The vulnerabilities of both systems are also compared to each other to identify differences in how they are handled. It is concluded that if the target platform has the ability to implement a TEE solution, it can also implement the same solution using a hypervisor. However, the authors recommend against porting a working TEE solution, as TEEs often offer finished APIs for common operations that would require re-implementation in the examined hypervisor.

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