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Semantics-Driven Introspection in a Virtual Environment

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4 Author(s)
Tamberi, F. ; Dipt. di Inf., Univ. di Pisa, Pisa ; Maggiari, D. ; Sgandurra, D. ; Baiardi, F.

Semantics-driven monitoring discovers attacks against a process by evaluating invariants on the process state. We propose an approach that increases the robustness and the transparency of the run-time monitoring system by introducing two virtual machines (VMs) running on the same platform. One VM runs the monitored process, i.e. the process P to be protected, while the other one evaluates invariants on P state each time P invokes a system call. To this purpose, an Introspection Library allows the monitoring VM to access the memory and the processor registers of the monitored VM. After describing the overall architecture, we focus on the Introspection Library and the problems posed by the introspection of variables in the memory of a program running in a distinct VM to evaluate invariants. A first prototype implementation is also presented together with preliminary performance results.

Published in:

Information Assurance and Security, 2008. ISIAS '08. Fourth International Conference on

Date of Conference:

8-10 Sept. 2008

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