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Exploiting an I/OMMU vulnerability

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4 Author(s)
Sang, F.L. ; LAAS, CNRS, Toulouse, France ; Lacombe, E. ; Nicomette, V. ; Deswarte, Y.

It is difficult to protect an operating system kernel in an efficient way. Attackers can corrupt or subvert it by two different means: (1) the CPU; (2) the Direct Memory Access (DMA) capability of I/O controllers. DMA-based attacks can be blocked using an I/OMMU. This component, embedded in most of current chipsets, enables the operating system to virtualize the main memory for I/O controllers and to restrict their access to only some memory regions. In this paper, we present different vulnerabilities we identified on Intel VT-d, which implements an I/OMMU. An example of exploitation of one of them is then detailed. Finally, we give some recommendations to prevent these vulnerabilities from being used for malicious purposes.

Published in:

Malicious and Unwanted Software (MALWARE), 2010 5th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

19-20 Oct. 2010