Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
12th USENIX Security Symposium — Abstract

Pp. 153-168 of the Proceedings

Detecting Malicious Java Code Using Virtual Machine Auditing

Sunil Soman, Chandra Krintz, and Giovanni Vigna, University of California, Santa Barbara


The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is evolving as an infrastructure for the efficient execution of large-scale, network-based applications. To enable secure execution in this environment, industrial and academic efforts have implemented extensive support for verification of type-safety, authentication, and access control. However, JVMs continue to lack intrinsic support for intrusion detection.

Existing operating system auditing facilities and host-based intrusion detection systems operate at the process level, with the assumption that one application is mapped onto one process. However, in many cases, multiple Java applications are executed concurrently as threads within a single JVM process. As such, it is difficult to analyze the behavior of Java applications using the corresponding OS-level audit trail. In addition, the malicious actions of a single Java application may trigger a response that disables an entire execution environment. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a thread-level auditing facility for the Java Virtual Machine and an intrusion detection tool that uses audit data generated by this facility to detect attacks by malicious Java code. This paper describes the JVM auditing mechanisms, the intrusion detection tool, and the quantitative evaluation of their performance.

  • View the full text of this paper in HTML and PDF.
    Click here if you have forgotten your password Until August 2004, you will need your USENIX membership identification in order to access the full papers. The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2003 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.
To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 7 Nov. 2003 jel
Technical Program
Security '03 Home