Automating Information Flow Analysis of Low Level Code

Musard Balliu, Mads Dam, Roberto Guanciale
2014 Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security - CCS '14  
Low level code is challenging: It lacks structure, it uses jumps and symbolic addresses, the control flow is often highly optimized, and registers and memory locations may be reused in ways that make typing extremely challenging. Information flow properties create additional complications: They are hyperproperties relating multiple executions, and the possibility of interrupts and concurrency, and use of devices and features like memory-mapped I/O requires a departure from the usual
more » ... e usual initial-state final-state account of noninterference. In this work we propose a novel approach to relational verification for machine code. Verification goals are expressed as equivalence of traces decorated with observation points. Relational verification conditions are propagated between observation points using symbolic execution, and discharged using first-order reasoning. We have implemented an automated tool that integrates with SMT solvers to automate the verification task. The tool transforms ARMv7 binaries into an intermediate, architecture-independent format using the BAP toolset by means of a verified translator. We demonstrate the capabilities of the tool on a separation kernel system call handler, which mixes hand-written assembly with gcc-optimized output, a UART device driver and a crypto service modular exponentiation routine.
doi:10.1145/2660267.2660322 dblp:conf/ccs/BalliuDG14 fatcat:kbbl7y5ofnbenhaqqxukilztlu