A Security Architecture for Survivability Mechanisms

Wang, Chenxi, Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia
Knight, John, Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia

In survivability management systems, some management entities reside on application hosts that are not necessarily trustworthy. The integrity of these software entities is essential to the security of the network management scheme. In this talk, I present a novel framework to facilitate software security against malicious execution environments.
The approach consists of two fundamental techniques: a) Incorporating diversity in the deployment and the design of the program such that impersonation or intelligent tampering attacks require extensive analysis of the program; and b) one important aspect of program analysis, namely static analysis, is deterred by the incorporation of aliasing and further degeneration of the program control flow. It is shown that analyzing the transformed programs statically is an NP-hard problem. Theoretic bounds on approximate analysis methods are also provided. The transformations are implemented in a C compiler. Program performance results are presented. Empirical experiments with existing analysis tools showed that static analysis for the transformed programs are hindered to a significant degree.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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