Security

Ensuring Operating System Kernel Integrity With OSck

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Executive Summary

Kernel rootkits that modify operating system state to avoid detection are a dangerous threat to system security. This paper presents OSck, a system that discovers kernel rootkits by detecting malicious modifications to operating system data. OSck integrates and extends existing techniques for detecting rootkits, and verifies safety properties for large portions of the kernel heap with minimal overhead. The authors deduce type information for verification by analyzing unmodified kernel source code and in-memory kernel data structures. High-performance integrity checks that execute concurrently with a running operating system create data races, and they demonstrate a deterministic solution for ensuring kernel memory is in a consistent state.

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