Rapid Vulnerability Mitigation with Security Workarounds

Zhen Huang (Pennsylvania State University), Gang Tan (Pennsylvania State University)

The existence of pre-patch windows allows adversaries to exploit vulnerabilities before they are patched. Prior work has proposed to harden programs with security workarounds to enable users to mitigate vulnerabilities before a patch is available. However, it requires access to the source code of the programs. This paper introduces RVM, an approach to automatically hardening binary code with security workarounds. RVM statically analyzes binary code of programs to identify error-handling code in the programs, in order to synthesize security workarounds. We designed and implemented a prototype of RVM for Windows and Linux binaries. We evaluate the coverage and performance of RVM on binaries of popular Windows and Linux applications containing real-world vulnerabilities.