Design and Development of a Secure Compartmentalised 8-bit Architecture

Author: Timothy Kirby

Kirby, Timothy, 2018 Design and Development of a Secure Compartmentalised 8-bit Architecture, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


This thesis describes an architecture of a system for isolating sensitive tasks within the context of the 8-bit retro revival project, the MEGA65. This system has the potential to provide users with a means of secure communication on a platform which is simple enough to be understood by the user: A boon for the supporters of privacy and free speech. In an attempt to reach the completed system, a sub-system was successfully designed and developed that provides the ability for the user to inspect the state of the machine without an external host computer. Architectural changes were conceptualised and designed to allow for secure exfiltration-resistant compartments to be constructed and used. Furthermore, the development and implementation of a rudimentary method of context switching lays a foundation for the future development of a multitasking system on this 8-bit platform.

Keywords: Compartmentalised, Security, 8-bit, Exfiltration, Commodore 64

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2018
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Paul Gardner-Stephen