Computer Science with Nano-scale Technology: Bridging the Gap
New generations of non-volatile storage technologies (e.g., flash) are increasingly integrated in modern computing systems including mobile phones, IoT devices, medical devices, and automobiles. For years flash vendors have been squeezing cell sizes down to the last nanometer, trading endurance and performance for increased density. To mask this tradeoff from users, as well as minimize disruption to the storage stack, solid-state drives (SSD) wrap the underlying flash media in complex layers of firmware and hardware. The result is a gross misunderstanding of key SSD features, which in turn leads to suboptimal utilization and security vulnerabilities. In this talk I will explain a new attack vector for SSDs and the implications for modern operating systems. I will also review an ongoing line of work on reverse engineering SSDs to improve their performance and security.