Protection against reverse engineering in ARM

Raz Ben Yehuda, Nezer Jacob Zaidenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


With the advent of the mobile industry, we face new security challenges. ARM architecture is deployed in most mobile phones, homeland security, IoT, autonomous cars and other industries, providing a hypervisor API (via virtualization extension technology). To research the applicability of this virtualization technology for security in this platform is an interesting endeavor. The hypervisor API is an addition available for some ARMv7-a and is available with any ARMv8-a processor. Some ARM platforms also offer TrustZone, which is a separate exception level designed for trusted computing. However, TrustZone may not be available to engineers as some vendors lock it. We present a method of applying a thin hypervisor technology as a generic security solution for the most common operating system on the ARM architecture. Furthermore, we discuss implementation alternatives and differences, especially in comparison with the Intel architecture and hypervisor with TrustZone approaches. We provide performance benchmarks for using hypervisors for reverse engineering protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-51
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Information Security
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ARM
  • Hypervisor
  • IoT
  • Mobile
  • Security


Dive into the research topics of 'Protection against reverse engineering in ARM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this