Software

Dynamically Checking Ownership Policies in Concurrent C/C++ Programs

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Executive Summary

Concurrent programming errors arise when threads share data incorrectly. Programmers often avoid these errors by using synchronization to enforce a simple ownership policy: data is either owned exclusively by a thread that can read or write the data, or it is read owned by a set of threads that can read but not write the data. Unfortunately, incorrect synchronization often fails to enforce these policies and memory errors in languages like C and C++ can violate these policies even when synchronization is correct. In this paper, the authors present a dynamic analysis for checking ownership policies in concurrent C and C++ programs despite memory errors. The analysis can be used to find errors in commodity multi-threaded programs and to prevent attacks that exploit these errors.

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