Dartmouth graduate students Ira Ray Jenkins (left) and Prashant Anantharaman (right) developed security hardware with support from Professor Sean Smith. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

A tool developed by Dartmouth computer science graduate students tackles a widespread hardware hacking threat. They are coming to grips with a design flaw that ultimately falls into the province of the chip manufacturers — such industry giants as Intel and AMD. Until new designs are implemented, an interim solution devised at Dartmouth can fill the breach.

The techniques use existing mechanisms — readily available hardware and software — and tools to fix the problem. The team basically set up permissions for how a program can run and how a program can organize itself.