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From Speculation to Security: Practical and Efficient Information Flow Tracking Using Speculative Hardware

10 years 2 months ago
From Speculation to Security: Practical and Efficient Information Flow Tracking Using Speculative Hardware
Dynamic information flow tracking (also known as taint tracking) is an appealing approach to combat various security attacks. However, the performance of applications can severely degrade without hardware support for tracking taints. This paper observes that information flow tracking can be efficiently emulated using deferred exception tracking in microprocessors supporting speculative execution. Based on this observation, we propose SHIFT, a low-overhead, software-based dynamic information flow tracking system to detect a wide range of attacks. The key idea is to treat tainted state (describing untrusted data) as speculative state (describing deferred exceptions). SHIFT leverages existing architectural support for speculative execution to track tainted state in registers and needs to instrument only load and store instructions to track tainted state in memory using a bitmap, which results in significant performance advantages. Moreover, by decoupling mechanisms for taint tracking fro...
Haibo Chen, Xi Wu, Liwei Yuan, Binyu Zang, Pen-Chu
Added 12 Dec 2010
Updated 12 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2008
Where ISCA
Authors Haibo Chen, Xi Wu, Liwei Yuan, Binyu Zang, Pen-Chung Yew, Frederic T. Chong
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