Brussels / 30 & 31 January 2016


Genode's TrustZone demo on the USB Armory

Application of Genode as microhypervisor for Linux on an open source computer - story, design, and use

The USB Armory is an open source computer in the form of a USB stick. It normally runs Linux. But thanks to the ARM TrustZone capabilities of the device, it is possible to run the Genode OS Framework as microhypervisor behind the back of Linux. This is useful for shielding sensitive information like cryptographic keys from Linux by exposing it to Genode only and thereby drastically reducing the attack surface. Even in the event Linux gets compromised, e.g., by a vulnerability in the USB stack, the secrets remain protected.

In the talk, I'll first give a short introduction into the USB Armory project and its motivation. After that, I'll tell the development story of Genode's microhypervisor scenario. I'll also illustrate how the TrustZone technology is used to isolate Genode from Linux without compromising the rich feature set of Linux, and how both worlds can safely communicate with each other. Last but not least, I'll demonstrate the scenario itself and how it can be reproduced.


Photo of Martin Stein Martin Stein