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MultiK: A Framework for Orchestrating Multiple Specialized Kernels [article]

Hsuan-Chi Kuo, Akshith Gunasekaran, Yeongjin Jang, Sibin Mohan, Rakesh B. Bobba, David Lie, Jesse Walker
2019 arXiv   pre-print
We present, MultiK, a Linux-based framework 1 that reduces the attack surface for operating system kernels by reducing code bloat. MultiK "orchestrates" multiple kernels that are specialized for individual applications in a transparent manner. This framework is flexible to accommodate different kernel code reduction techniques and, most importantly, run the specialized kernels with near-zero additional runtime overheads. MultiK avoids the overheads of virtualization and runs natively on the
more » ... em. For instance, an Apache instance is shown to run on a kernel that has (a) 93.68% of its code reduced, (b) 19 of 23 known kernel vulnerabilities eliminated and (c) with negligible performance overheads (0.19%). MultiK is a framework that can integrate with existing code reduction and OS security techniques. We demonstrate this by using D-KUT and S-KUT -- two methods to profile and eliminate unwanted kernel code. The whole process is transparent to the user applications because MultiK does not require a recompilation of the application.
arXiv:1903.06889v1 fatcat:tzgfb4emffdlpdcejacmzhra2m