Griffin: Guarding control flows using intel processor trace

Xinyang Ge, Weidong Cui, Trent Jaeger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Researchers are actively exploring techniques to enforce control-flow integrity (CFI), which restricts program execution to a predefined set of targets for each indirect control transfer to prevent code-reuse attacks. While hardwareassisted CFI enforcement may have the potential for advantages in performance and flexibility over software instrumentation, current hardware-assisted defenses are either incomplete (i.e., do not enforce all control transfers) or less efficient in comparison. We find that the recent introduction of hardware features to log complete control-flow traces, such as Intel Processor Trace (PT), provides an opportunity to explore how efficient and flexible a hardware-assisted CFI enforcement system may become. While Intel PT was designed to aid in offline debugging and failure diagnosis, we explore its effectiveness for online CFI enforcement over unmodified binaries by designing a parallelized method for enforcing various types of CFI policies. We have implemented a prototype called GRIFFIN in the Linux 4.2 kernel that enables complete CFI enforcement over a variety of software, including the Firefox browser and its jitted code. Our experiments show that GRIFFIN can enforce fine-grained CFI policies with shadow stack as recommended by researchers at a performance that is comparable to software-only instrumentation techniques. In addition, we find that alternative logging approaches yield significant performance improvements for trace processing, identifying opportunities for further hardware assistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASPLOS 2017 - 22nd International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages585-598
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450344654
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 4 2017
Event22nd International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS 2017 - Xi'an, China
Duration: Apr 8 2017Apr 12 2017

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems - ASPLOS
VolumePart F127193

Other

Other22nd International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS 2017
CountryChina
CityXi'an
Period4/8/174/12/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture

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