Inferring Behavior of Solid State Drives


Event details

Date and time 03.05.2016 10:1511:15  
Place and room
Speaker Ryan Rakvic, Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, USA
Category Conferences - Seminars
Many government and business professionals indicate there is a shortage of computer security experts. Hence, there has been a big push towards enhancing cyber security, both in terms of government research dollars and company investments. However, there still exists many unknowns in today's security domain, and one may argue that the problem is worsening. As an example, Solid State Drives (SSDs), which are becoming popular alternatives to hard disk drives in many systems, remain a mystery internally. One recent study claims to prove that not all SSDs may be performing all of their advertised features. TRIM, as an example, is a feature that is used by the operating system to notify the SSD that a particular storage location can be erased. However, the SSD makes no guarantee what it will do with this information. This talk will describe measurement and analysis techniques for inferring the behavior of an SSD by observing its power usage. Energy models are derived for three SSDs, and empirically obtained signatures are presented to identify when a TRIM command is issued and executed. Our findings show that energy models differ among drive manufacturers and they also support the hypothesis that not all SSDs may be as advertised. These energy measurement techniques could also help future research determine “what else” is happening in the SSDs that we use today.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free


  • Babak Falsafi


  • Stéphanie Baillargues

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