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Gadge me if you can: Secure and efficient ad-hoc instruction-level randomization for x86 and ARM

: Davi, L.V.; Dmitrienko, A.; Nürnberger, S.; Sadeghi, A.-R.


Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-, Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control -SIGSAC-:
ASIACCS 2013, 8th ACM SIGSAC Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security. Proceedings : Held in Hangzhou, China, 7-10,May 2013
New York: ACM, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4503-1767-2
Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS) <8, 2013, Hangzhou>
Fraunhofer SIT ()

Code reuse attacks such as return-oriented programming are one of the most powerful threats to contemporary software. ASLR was introduced to impede these attacks by dispersing shared libraries and the executable in memory. However, in practice its entropy is rather low and, more importantly, the leakage of a single address reveals the position of a whole library in memory. The recent mitigation literature followed the route of randomization, applied it at different stages such as source code or the executable binary. However, the code segments still stay in one block. In contrast to previous work, our randomization solution, called Xifer, (1) disperses all code (executable and libraries) across the whole address space, (2) re-randomizes the address space for each run, (3) is compatible to code signing, and (4) does neither require offline static analysis nor source-code. Our prototype implementation supports the Linux ELF file format and covers both mainstream processor architectures x86 and ARM. Our evaluation demonstrates that Xifer performs efficiently at load- and during run-time (1.2% overhead).