Trusted Virtual Disk Images

  • Carlo Gebhardt
  • Allan Tomlinson


Many solutions have been proposed to raise the security level of virtualisation. However, most overlook the security of virtual disk images. With our paper we present a secure, flexible and transparent security architecture for virtual disk images. Virtual machines running on our architecture transparently benefit from confidentiality and integrity assurance. We achieve this by incorporating the concepts of Trusted Computing and in particular the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This enables us to provide a secure and flexible trusted virtual disk infrastructure to a broad number of platforms. Furthermore, the unique concept of Trusted Virtual Disk Images (TVDI) allows an image owner to stay in control over the disk image throughout its complete life-cycle.


Virtual Machine Trusted Platform Module Trust Computing Virtual Disk Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    William A. Arbaugh, Angelos D. Keromytis, David J. Farber, and Jonathan M. Smith, Automated recovery in a secure bootstrap process, Proceedings of Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, Internet Society, 1998, pp. 155–167.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stefan Berger, Ramán Cáceres, Kenneth A. Goldman, Ronald Perez, Reiner Sailer, and Leendert van Doom, vtpm: virtualizing the trusted platform module, USENLX-SS’06: Proceedings of the 15th conference on USENIX Security Symposium (Berkeley, CA, USA), USENIX Association, 2006, pp. 21–21.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Haibo Chen, Jieyun Chen, Wenbo Mao, and Fei Yan, Daonity - grid security from two levels of virtualization , Inf. Secur. Tech. Rep. 12 (2007), no. 3, 123–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tal Garfinkel, Ben Pfaff, Jim Chow, Mendel Rosenblum, and Dan Boneh, Terra: a virtual machine-based platform for trusted computing , SOSP ’03: Proceedings of the nineteenth ACM symposium on Operating systems principles (New York, NY, USA), ACM, 2003, pp. 193–206.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tal Garfinkel and Mendel Rosenblum, When virtual is harder than real: security challenges in virtual machine based computing environments, HOTOS’05: Proceedings of the 10th conference on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (Berkeley, CA, USA), USENIX Association, 2005, pp. 20–20.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carl Gebhardt and Allan Tomlinson, Security considerations for virtualization, Tech. report, Department of Mathematics, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2008.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hans Lohr, HariGovind V. Ramasamy, Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Stefan Schulz, Matthias Schunter, and Christian Stable, Enhancing grid security using trusted virtualization., ATC (Bin Xiao, Laurence Tianruo Yang, Jianhua Ma, Christian Muller-Schloer, and Yu Hua, eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 4610, Springer, 2007, pp. 372–384.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jonathan M. McCune, Bryan J. Parno, Adrian Perrig, Michael K. Reiter, and Hiroshi Isozaki, Flicker: an execution infrastructure fortcb minimization , SIGOPS Oper. Syst. Rev. 42 (2008), no. 4, 315–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mark McLoughlin, The qcow image format,
  10. 10.
    Ralph C. Merkle, Protocols for public key cryptosystems , Security and Privacy 00 (1980), 122–134.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Arvind Seshadri, Mark Luk, Ning Qu, and Adrian Perrig, Secvisor: a tiny hypervisor to provide lifetime kernel code integrity for commodity oses, SOSP ’07: Proceedings of twenty-first ACM SIGOPS symposium on Operating systems principles (New York, NY, USA), ACM, 2007, pp. 335–350.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    C. Strachey, Time sharing in large fast computers, vol. paper B. 2. 1, Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Processing, June 1959, pp. 336–341.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Frederic Stumpf, Michael Benz, Martin Hermanowski, and Claudia Eckert, An approach to a trustworthy system architecture using virtualization, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Autonomic and Trusted Computing (ATC-2007) (Hong Kong, China), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 4158, Springer-Verlag, July 2007, pp. 191–202.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kuniyasu Suzaki, Toshiki Yagi, Kengo Iijima, and Nguyen Anh Quynh, Os circular: internet client for reference , LISA’07: Proceedings of the 21st conference on 21st Large Installation System Administration Conference (Berkeley, CA, USA), USENIX Association, 2007, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    TCG, TPM Main, Part 1 Design Principles , TCG Specification Version 1.2 Revision 103, The Trusted Computing Group, Portland, OR, USA, July 2007.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    TCG, TPM Main, Part 2 TPM Data Structures , TCG Specification Version 1.2 Revision 103, The Trusted Computing Group, Portland, OR, USA, July 2007.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    TCG, TPM Main, Part 3 Commands , TCG Specification Version 1.2 Revision 103, The Trusted Computing Group, Portland, OR, USA, July 2007.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    VMware and XenSource, The open virtual machine format whitepaper for ovf specification , Tech. report, VMware and XenSource, 2007.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Andrew Warfield and Julian Chesterfield, Blktap userspace tools + library ,, June 2006.

Copyright information

© Vieweg+Teubner | GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Gebhardt
    • 1
  • Allan Tomlinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonLondon

Personalised recommendations