The Finger in the Power: How to Fingerprint PCs by Monitoring Their Power Consumption

Marina Botvinnik, Tomer Laor, Thomas Rokicki, Clémentine Maurice, Yossi Oren

International Conference on Detection of Intrusions and Malware, and …, 2023

Power analysis has long been used to tell apart different instructions running on the same machine. In this work, we show that it is also possible to use power consumption to tell apart different machines running the same instructions, even if these machines have entirely identical hardware and software configurations, and even if the power consumption measurements are carried out using low-rate software-based methods. We collected an extended dataset of power consumption traces from 291 desktop and server systems, spanning multiple processor generations and vendors (Intel and AMD). After analyzing them, we discovered that profiling the power consumption of individual assembly instructions makes it possible to create a fingerprinting agent that can identify individual machines with high accuracy. Our classifier approaches its peak accuracy after less than 10 instructions, meaning that the fingerprint can …