Security '01 Abstract
RaceGuard: Kernel Protection From Temporary File Race Vulnerabilities
Crispin Cowan, Steve Beattie, Chris Wright, and Greg Kroah-Hartman, WireX Communications, Inc.
Temporary file race vulnerabilities occur when privi-leged
programs attempt to create temporary files in an
unsafe manner. "Unsafe" means "non-atomic with
respect to an attacker's activities." There is no portable
standard for safely (atomically) creating temporary files,
and many operating systems have no safe temporary file
creation at all. As a result, many programs continue to
use unsafe means to create temporary files, resulting in
widespread vulnerabilities. This paper presents Race-Guard:
a kernel enhancement that detects attempts to
exploit temporary file race vulnerabilities, and does so
with sufficient speed and precision that the attack can be
halted before it takes effect. RaceGuard has been imple-mented,
tested, and measured. We show that RaceGuard
is effective at stopping temporary file race attacks, pre-serves
compatibility (no legitimate software is broken),
and preserves performance (overhead is minimal).
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