Security

A Covert Timing Channel Via Algorithmic Complexity Attacks: Design and Analysis

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Executive Summary

A covert channel is a communication channel that bypasses the access controls of the system, and it is a threat to the system's security. In this paper, the authors propose a new covert timing channel which exploits the algorithmic complexity vulnerabilities in the name lookup algorithm of the kernel. This covert channel has a high capacity and it is practically exploitable. In their experiments, the data rate reaches 2256 bps under a very low error rate. This data rate is high enough for practical use. So, their covert channel is dangerous. To their knowledge, no previous works propose this covert channel nor implement it.

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