Exploring the use of Intel SGX for Secure Many−Party Applications
K.A. Küçük‚ A. Paverd‚ A. Martin‚ N. Asokan‚ A. Simpson and R. Ankele
The theoretical construct of a Trusted Third Party (TTP) has the potential to solve many security and privacy challenges. In particular, a TTP is an ideal way to achieve secure multiparty computation—a privacy-enhancing technique in which mutually distrusting participants jointly compute a function over their private inputs without revealing these inputs. Although there exist cryptographic protocols to achieve this, their performance often limits them to the two-party case, or to a small number of participants. However, many real-world applications involve thousands or tens of thousands of participants. Examples of this type of many-party application include privacy-preserving energy metering, location-based services, and mobile network roaming. Challenging the notion that a trustworthy TTP does not exist, recent research has shown how trusted hardware and remote attestation can be used to establish a sufficient level of assurance in a real system such that it can serve as a trustworthy remote entity (TRE). We explore the use of Intel SGX, the most recent and arguably most promising trusted hardware technology, as the basis for a TRE for many-party applications. Using privacy-preserving energy metering as a case study, we design and implement a prototype TRE using SGX, and compare its performance to a previous system based on the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Our results show that even without specialized optimizations, SGX provides comparable performance to the optimized TPM system, and therefore has significant potential for large-scale many-party applications.