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15th USENIX Security Symposium Abstract

Pp. 289–304 of the Proceedings

An Architecture for Specification-Based Detection of Semantic Integrity Violations in Kernel Dynamic Data

Nick L. Petroni, Jr., and Timothy Fraser, University of Maryland; AAron Walters, Purdue University; William A. Arbaugh, University of Maryland


The ability of intruders to hide their presence in compromised systems has surpassed the ability of the current generation of integrity monitors to detect them. Once in control of a system, intruders modify the state of constantly-changing dynamic kernel data structures to hide their processes and elevate their privileges. Current monitoring tools are limited to detecting changes in nominally static kernel data and text and cannot distinguish a valid state change from tampering in these dynamic data structures. We introduce a novel general architecture for defining and monitoring semantic integrity constraints using a specification language-based approach. This approach will enable a new generation of integrity monitors to distinguish valid states from tampering.
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Last changed: 20 Sept. 2006 ch