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Assessing the Impact of Interface Vulnerabilities in Compartmentalized Software

Hugo LefeuvreVlad-Andrei B\u{a}doiuYi ChienFelipe HuiciNathan DautenhahnPierre Olivier
Dec 2022
摘要
Least-privilege separation decomposes applications into compartments limitedto accessing only what they need. When compartmentalizing existing software,many approaches neglect securing the new inter-compartment interfaces, althoughwhat used to be a function call from/to a trusted component is now potentiallya targeted attack from a malicious compartment. This results in an entire classof security bugs: Compartment Interface Vulnerabilities (CIVs). This paper provides an in-depth study of CIVs. We taxonomize these issues andshow that they affect all known compartmentalization approaches. We proposeConfFuzz, an in-memory fuzzer specialized to detect CIVs at possiblecompartment boundaries. We apply ConfFuzz to a set of 25 popular applicationsand 36 possible compartment APIs, to uncover a wide data-set of 629vulnerabilities. We systematically study these issues, and extract numerousinsights on the prevalence of CIVs, their causes, impact, and the complexity toaddress them. We stress the critical importance of CIVs in compartmentalizationapproaches, demonstrating an attack to extract isolated keys in OpenSSL anduncovering a decade-old vulnerability in sudo. We show, among others, that notall interfaces are affected in the same way, that API size is uncorrelated withCIV prevalence, and that addressing interface vulnerabilities goes beyondwriting simple checks. We conclude the paper with guidelines for CIV-awarecompartment interface design, and appeal for more research towards systematicCIV detection and mitigation.
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