President and CEO of Axiado, Gopi Sirineni - AI-Tech Interview

Learn about the primary challenges in securing cloud data centers and 5G networks against cyberattacks, including the targeting of BMCs by cybercriminals.


How does Axiado contribute to AI-driven hardware security in these environments?

Axiado TCUs harness the power of intelligent, on-chip AI to thoroughly scrutinize access sessions, detect anomalies, and monitor the boot process for potential side-channel attacks. These side-channel attacks encompass subtleties like voltage glitches and thermal anomalies. TCUs respond promptly to identify and neutralize these insidious threats. Furthermore, TCUs have been trained to recognize behavior patterns that are emblematic of known ransomware attacks, a capability honed through the analysis of hardware traces. This pattern recognition enables TCUs to promptly detect and thwart ransomware attacks in real-time, mitigating the potential damage.

What are the primary challenges in securing cloud data centers and 5G networks against cyberattacks?

Cybercriminals often target BMCs to execute their schemes to steal data for ransom, implant malicious code that can cause users to reveal passwords and other sensitive data, or bring down an entire network to cause chaotic service disruptions. These vulnerabilities usually emerge when a third-party program or firmware is installed in a device that allows arbitrary read and write access to a BMC’s physical address. The BMC is a key target for cybercriminals because it is the first processor to run on a server, even before a main processor like the CPU and GPU. As such, hacking the BMC’s firmware can affect every other firmware or software application that runs after it.

In some instances, cybercriminals resort to physical breaches to execute inside-out assaults, further compounding the complexity of the security landscape. In all these scenarios, the adversary gains ingress into the system through some form of credential compromise, whether it is through the act of clicking on malicious links or the loss of credentials.

Can you explain the challenges of side-channel attacks and how AI hardware security solutions address them?

Next-generation networks, particularly in the case of dispersed 5G cellular base stations, often lack the physical security that servers enjoy, making them vulnerable to side-channel attacks aimed at extracting cryptographic keys and protecting sensitive user data. By implementing an on-board TCU solution, specifically tailored for 5G base stations, the network gains enhanced protection against power analysis, voltage glitching, and clock manipulation attacks. Axiado offers the advantages of a security offload card while allowing for additional customization beyond module interface standards.

What innovative solutions has Axiado developed for AI-enabled hardware security in these networks?

Our TCUs introduce a new category of forensic-enabled cybersecurity processors, providing real-time and proactive AI-based threat detection. Multiple cores of AI engines inside the TCUs are specifically trained for each functional model, including sensor/telematics data analysis and reported ransomware attacks. This enables continuous monitoring, detection, prediction, and interception of attacks in real-time. The TCUs offer runtime protection, automation, and advanced mitigation capabilities using AI algorithms. Additionally, the TCUs feature distributed hardware security managers with anti-tamper and anti-counterfeit measures, control/management plane SmartNIC network interfaces, and safeguards against side-channel attacks.

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