Author(s): Wilson Lian, Hovav Shacham, Stefan Savage

Download: Paper (PDF)

Date: 27 Feb 2017

Document Type: Reports

Associated Event: NDSS Symposium 2017


JIT spraying allows an attacker to subvert a Just- In-Time compiler, introducing instruction sequences useful to the attacker into executable regions of the victim program’s address space as a side effect of compiling seemingly innocuous code in a safe language like JavaScript.

We present new JIT spraying attacks against Google’s V8 and Mozilla’s SpiderMonkey JavaScript engines on ARM. The V8 attack is the first JIT spraying attack not to rely on instruction decoding ambiguity, and the SpiderMonkey attack uses the first ARM payload that executes unintended instructions derived from intended instruction bytes without resynchronizing to the intended instruction stream. We review the JIT spraying defenses proposed in the literature and their currently-deployed implementations and conclude that the current state of JIT spraying mitigation, which prioritizes low performance overhead, leaves many exploitable attacker options unchecked.

We perform an empirical evaluation of mitigations with low but non-zero overhead in a unified framework and find that full, robust defense implementations of diversification defenses can effectively mitigate JIT spraying attacks in the literature as well as our new attacks with a combined average overhead of 4.56% on x86-64 and 4.88% on ARM32.