SafeHidden: An Efficient and Secure Information Hiding Technique Using Re-randomization

Authors: 

Zhe Wang and Chenggang Wu, State Key Laboratory of Computer Architecture, Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Yinqian Zhang, The Ohio State University; Bowen Tang, State Key Laboratory of Computer Architecture, Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Pen-Chung Yew, University of Minnesota at Twin-Cities; Mengyao Xie, Yuanming Lai, and Yan Kang, State Key Laboratory of Computer Architecture, Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Yueqiang Cheng, Baidu USA; Zhiping Shi, The Capital Normal University

Abstract: 

Information hiding (IH) is an important building block for many defenses against code reuse attacks, such as code-pointer integrity (CPI), control-flow integrity (CFI) and fine-grained code (re-)randomization, because of its effectiveness and performance. It employs randomization to probabilistically ''hide'' sensitive memory areas, called safe areas, from attackers and ensures their addresses are not leaked by any pointers directly. These defenses used safe areas to protect their critical data, such as jump targets and randomization secrets. However, recent works have shown that IH is vulnerable to various attacks.

In this paper, we propose a new IH technique called SafeHidden. It continuously re-randomizes the locations of safe areas and thus prevents the attackers from probing and inferring the memory layout to find its location. A new thread-private memory mechanism is proposed to isolate the thread-local safe areas and prevent adversaries from reducing the randomization entropy. It also randomizes the safe areas after the TLB misses to prevent attackers from inferring the address of safe areas using cache side-channels. Existing IH-based defenses can utilize SafeHidden directly without any change. Our experiments show that SafeHidden not only prevents existing attacks effectively but also incurs low performance overhead.

BibTeX
@inproceedings {236336,
title = {SafeHidden: An Efficient and Secure Information Hiding Technique Using Re-randomization},
booktitle = {28th {USENIX} Security Symposium ({USENIX} Security 19)},
year = {2019},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity19/presentation/wang},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
}