Type of Publication: Article in Collected Edition

ROPdefender: A Detection Tool to Defend Against Return-Oriented Programming Attacks

Davi, Lucas; Sadeghi, Ahmad-Reza; Winandy, Marcel
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Proc. of 6th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS)
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Modern runtime attacks increasingly make use of the powerful return-oriented programming (ROP) attack techniques and principles such as recent attacks on Apple iPhone and Acrobat products to name some. These attacks even work under the presence of modern memory protection mechanisms such as data execution prevention (DEP). In this paper, we present our tool, ROPdefender, that dynamically detects conventional ROP attacks (that are based on return instructions). In contrast to existing solutions, ROPdefender can be immediately deployed by end-users, since it does not rely on side information (e.g., source code or debugging information) which are rarely provided in practice. Currently, our tool adds a runtime overhead of 2x which is comparable to similar instrumentation-based tools.