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Publication type: Conference paper
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Downright : a framework and toolchain for privilege handling
Authors : Neuhaus, Stephan
Schweizer, Remo
et. al : No
DOI : 10.1109/SecDev.2019.00019
Published in : Proceedings of the IEEE
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE Secure Development (SecDev) Conference
Conference details: IEEE SecDev 2019, McLean, USA, 25 - 27 September 2019
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher / Ed. Institution : IEEE
ISBN: 978-1-5386-7289-1
ISSN: 0018-9219
Language : English
Subjects : Security; Privileges; Linux; Unix
Subject (DDC) : 005: Computer programming, programs and data
Abstract: We propose Downright, a novel framework based on Seccomp, Berkeley Packet Filter, and PTrace, that makes it possible to equip new and existing C applications with a request broker architecture. An extensive configuration language allows AppArmor-like configuration that supports programmers in building rules for system call parameter validation and result sanitization. Access to these privileged function calls can be restricted both within Linux kernel and user spaces. Downright's main strength compared to related approaches is that it implements a complete mediation request broker architecture, in which all system calls are vetted before execution, either by the kernel or by a request broker, which runs as another process. This isolates the main program from many failures due to programming bugs and attacks, which would have to pass not only the attacked program, but the request broker also. We argue that this makes acquiring and releasing elevated privileges easier and safer. Downright eliminates the need to write Seccomp programs, instead allowing policies to be expressed declaratively through a rich policy language. We demonstrate the viability of this approach by instrumenting nginx, an industrial-strength web server and reverse proxy. While this instrumentation takes only a single line of code, we argue that even this effort can be avoided by suitable C runtime code. We show that Downright's overhead is substantial, halving nginx's perfomance, but propose measures for optimisation.
Further description : © 2019 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Fulltext version : Accepted version
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Engineering
Organisational Unit: Institute of Applied Information Technology (InIT)
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Engineering

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