Software Security Using Software Dynamic Translation

Authors:Scott, Kevin, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Davidson, Jack, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia

Software dynamic translation (SDT) is a technology that allows programs to be modified as they are running. Researchers have used SDT with good success to build a variety of useful software tools (e.g., binary translators, operating system simulators, low-overhead profilers, and dynamic optimizers). In this paper, we describe how SDT can be used to address the critical problem of providing software security. The paper shows how SDT can simply and effectively implement arbitrary user-specified software safety policies. Unlike static analysis techniques which typically process source code, SDT is applied to binary code. Consequently, SDT can handle untrusted binaries and unsecured libraries from any source. To demonstrate and validate that SDT provides additional security, we have implemented a software security API for Strata, our software dynamic translation infrastructure. The API, while simple, allows clients to implement powerful policies to prevent potential security violations. To illustrate the use of Strata and the security API, the paper provides implementations of several interesting and useful security policies.

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Source Citation:

Scott, Kevin, and Jack Davidson. "Software Security Using Software Dynamic Translation." University of Virginia Dept. of Computer Science Tech Report (2001).

University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
Published Date: