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Co-processor-based Behavior Monitoring

Ronny Chevalier, Maugan Villatel, David Plaquin, Guillaume Hiet
2017 Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Computer Security Applications Conference on - ACSAC 2017  
Highly privileged software, such as firmware, is an attractive target for attackers. Thus, BIOS vendors use cryptographic signatures to ensure firmware integrity at boot time. Nevertheless, such protection does not prevent an attacker from exploiting vulnerabilities at runtime. To detect such attacks, we propose an event-based behavior monitoring approach that relies on an isolated co-processor. We instrument the code executed on the main CPU to send information about its behavior to the
more » ... . This information helps to resolve the semantic gap issue. Our approach does not depend on a specific model of the behavior nor on a specific target. We apply this approach to detect attacks targeting the System Management Mode (SMM), a highly privileged x86 execution mode executing firmware code at runtime. We model the behavior of SMM using invariants of its control-flow and relevant CPU registers (CR3 and SMBASE). We instrument two open-source firmware implementations: EDK II and coreboot. We evaluate the ability of our approach to detect state-of-the-art attacks and its runtime execution overhead by simulating an x86 system coupled with an ARM Cortex A5 co-processor. The results show that our solution detects intrusions from the state of the art, without any false positives, while remaining acceptable in terms of performance overhead in the context of the SMM (i.e., less than the 150 μs threshold defined by Intel).
doi:10.1145/3134600.3134622 dblp:conf/acsac/ChevalierVPH17 fatcat:jizvvr647rgmpfbvc7xp7x7rsu

Survivor

Ronny Chevalier, David Plaquin, Chris Dalton, Guillaume Hiet
2019 Proceedings of the 35th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference on - ACSAC '19  
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to thank Pierre Belgarric and Maugan Villatel for their helpful comments, feedback, and proofing of earlier versions of this paper.  ... 
doi:10.1145/3359789.3359792 dblp:conf/acsac/ChevalierPDH19 fatcat:b33z6bmnjrcdnaaqzi7qhfldce