PROTC: PROTeCting Drone’s Peripherals through ARM TrustZone [Conference Paper]

NESL Technical Report #: 2017-6-1


Abstract: As of Mar 2017, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has more than 750k registered drone users. Safety of drones is the most crucial issue while designing drones. Most prior research focuses on aspects of the drone piloting system, drone applications, and drone cyber security. However, there lacks a system level protection for drone’s essential peripherals. Several rootkits such as motochopper show that a commodity operating system is not safe, and the OS kernel can be easily compromised, such that the malicious applications can take control of the drone. We propose a new mechanism PROTC to protect the essential peripherals from being maliciously accessed. The protection is abstracted through the feature of ARM TrustZone. PROTC implements a trusted computing block within ARM TrustZone that enforces secure access control policy for the essential protected peripherals of the drone. The hardware protection from ARM TrustZone ensures that the trusted computing block of PROTC that runs privileged instructions is isolated from drone OS. PROTC successfully shows that only authorized applications can access drone’s protected peripherals.

Publication Forum: DroNet 2017

Date: 2017-05-19

NESL Document?: Yes

Document category: Conference Paper

Primary Research Area: Privacy, Security, and Integrity