Author(s): Lucas Davi, Christopher Liebchen, Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Kevin Z. Snow, Fabian Monrose

Download: Paper (PDF)

Date: 7 Feb 2015

Document Type: Briefing Papers

Additional Documents: Slides

Associated Event: NDSS Symposium 2015


Until recently, it was widely believed that code randomization (such as fine-grained ASLR) can effectively mitigate code reuse attacks. However, a recent attack strategy, dubbed just-in-time return oriented programming (JIT-ROP), circumvents code randomization by disclosing the (randomized) content of many memory pages at runtime. In order to remedy this situation, new and improved code randomization defenses have been proposed. The contribution of this paper is twofold: first, we conduct a security analysis of a recently proposed fine-grained ASLR scheme that aims at mitigating JIT-ROP based on hiding direct code references in branch instructions. In particular, we demonstrate its weaknesses by constructing a novel JIT-ROP attack that is solely based on exploiting code references residing on the stack and heap. Our attack stresses that designing code randomization schemes resilient to memory disclosure is highly challenging. Second, we present a new and hybrid defense approach, dubbed Isomeron, that combines code randomization with execution-path randomization to mitigate conventional ROP and JIT-ROP attacks. Our reference implementation of Isomeron neither requires source code nor a static analysis phase. We evaluated its efficiency based on SPEC benchmarks and discuss its effectiveness against various kinds of code reuse attacks.