SGX Projects

We have been actively working on SGX related research. These research projects can be broadly classified into three different categories: System Design, Defense, and Attack. Please find the selective projects below:

System Design

  • OpenSGX: An open-source platform for SGX research that consists of a QEMU-based emulator and a software development kit (SDK)
  • S-NFV: A protection scheme for network function virtualization (NFV) applications that uses SGX to secure the applications' internal states
  • AirBox: A secure design of edge function platforms using SGX for ensuring code integrity and data confidentiality of an edge function
  • SGX-Tor: A design of Tor that enhances the security and privacy of the protocol by utilizing SGX


  • T-SGX: A compiler-level approach that incorporates Intel TSX to prevent SGX enclaves from controlled-channel attacks
  • SGX-Shield: A software-based design of SGX enclaves that enables fine-grained address space layout randomization (ASLR)


  • Branch Shadowing: A novel side-channel attack against SGX exploiting branch history states preserved across an SGX mode switch and last branch record (LBR)
  • Dark ROP: A novel blind return-oriented programming (ROP) attack against SGX exploiting uninitialized registers across an enclave exit
  • SGX-Bomb: A rowhammer attack against SGX resulting in processor lockdown, i.e., a cold reboot is necessary to use the machine again
  • SGX-Bleed: A vulnerability that can leak uninitialized SGX memory through structure padding


  • Leaking Uninitialized Secure Enclave Memory via Structure Padding (Extended Abstract, [paper]
  • SGX-Bomb: Locking Down the Processor via Rowhammer Attack (SysTEX 2017) [paper]
  • Inferring Fine-grained Control Flow Inside SGX Enclaves with Branch Shadowing (Security 2017) [paper]
  • Hacking in Darkness: Return-oriented Programming against Secure Enclaves (Security 2017) [paper]
  • Enhancing Security and Privacy of Tor's Ecosystem by using Trusted Execution Environments (NSDI 2017) [paper]
  • SGX-Shield: Enabling Address Space Layout Randomization for SGX Programs (NDSS 2017) [paper]
  • T-SGX: Eradicating Controlled-Channel Attacks Against Enclave Programs (NDSS 2017) [paper]
  • Fast, Scalable and Secure Onloading of Edge Functions using AirBox (SEC 2016) [paper]
  • S-NFV: Securing NFV states by using SGX (SDNNFVSEC 2016) [paper]
  • OpenSGX: An Open Platform for SGX Research (NDSS 2016) [paper]


  1. Branch Shadowing

This video shows how the branch shadowing attack can extract RSA private key bits

  • Target code: Sliding window exponentiation of mbedTLS
  • Attack code: We modified Linux SGX SDK to run our shadow code
  • Kernel log: Our attack code prints the output of LBR via dmesg
  1. Dark ROP

This video shows how the Dark ROP attack detects memcpy() and copy the entire memory contents of an enclave to the outside.

  1. SGX page-table-based attack

This video presents the page-table-based attack, which is also known as the controlled-channel attack. By manipulating the page table and hooking the page fault handler, the attacker is able to observe precise page access patterns.

  1. SGX-Shield

This video demonstrates the effectiveness of fine-grained ASLR support of SGX-Shield.

  1. T-SGX

This video shows how T-SGX protect an SGX enclave from page-table-based attacks.

  1. SGX-Bomb

This video shows how the SGX-Bomb attack locks down a victim machine.

  1. SGX-Bleed

This video shows how the SGX-Bleed problem leaks uninitialized SGX memory via structure padding.