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Gonçalves C., Antunes N.

5th IEEE International Workshop on Reliability and Security Data Analysis (RSDA 2020) (co-located ISSRE 2020)


Hypervisors govern the resources of virtualized systems and are a crucial component of many cloud solutions. As a critical component, cloud providers should assess the hypervisor’s security to mitigate risk before adoption. Ideally, a benchmark should be applied to compare the security of different systems objectively, but security benchmarking is still an open problem. Notwithstanding, the evaluation of the system’s trustworthiness has been adopted as a promising approach as part of this complex evaluation process. In this work, we present a vulnerability data analysis of the Xen hypervisor. Additionally, we address the problem of how to apply this analysis results as trustworthiness evidence that can be applied in security benchmarks. Our results present an insightful characterization of Xen’s vulnerabilities evaluating their lifespan, distribution, and modeling. We also show that vulnerability data analysis can qualitatively characterize the Xen hypervisor’s trustworthiness and possibly reflect the security development efforts into its codebase.