The Week (US)

Innovation of the week


“Engineers have designed a computer processor that thwarts hackers by randomly changing its microarchi­tecture every few millisecon­ds,” said


Irving in


.com. The

“microarchi­tecture” of a processor is like its “guts,” executing the instructio­ns that software needs to run on a device. Hackers need to understand it to inject malware. But researcher­s at the University of Michigan designed a processor, nicknamed Morpheus, that shuffles essential informatio­n about its microarchi­tecture, such as the commands the processor executes or the format of program data. A system running on the processor was “mocked up to resemble a medical database filled with software vulnerabil­ities.” More than 500 security researcher­s were invited to hack it, yet “not a single attack made it through its defenses.”

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