Refining Indirect Call Targets at the Binary Level

Sun Hyoung Kim (Penn State), Cong Sun (Xidian University), Dongrui Zeng (Penn State), Gang Tan (Penn State)

Enforcing fine-grained Control-Flow Integrity (CFI) is critical for increasing software security. However, for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) binaries, constructing high-precision Control-Flow Graphs (CFGs) is challenging, because there is no source-level information, such as symbols and types, to assist in indirect-branch target inference. The lack of source-level information brings extra challenges to inferring targets for indirect calls compared to other kinds of indirect branches. Points-to analysis could be a promising solution for this problem, but there is no practical points-to analysis framework for inferring indirect call targets at the binary level. Value set analysis (VSA) is the state-of-the-art binary-level points-to analysis but does not scale to large programs. It is also highly conservative by design and thus leads to low-precision CFG construction. In this paper, we present a binary-level points-to analysis framework called BPA to construct sound and high-precision CFGs. It is a new way of performing points-to analysis at the binary level with the focus on resolving indirect call targets. BPA employs several major techniques, including assuming a block memory model and a memory access analysis for partitioning memory into blocks, to achieve a better balance between scalability and precision. In evaluation, we demonstrate that BPA achieves a 34.5% precision improvement rate over the current state-of-the-art technique without introducing false negatives.