Heap Taichi: Exploiting Memory Allocation Granularity in Heap-Spraying Attacks

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Executive Summary

Heap spraying is an attack technique commonly used in hijacking browsers to download and execute malicious code. In this attack, attackers first fill a large portion of the victim process's heap with malicious code. Then they exploit a vulnerability to redirect the victim process's control to attackers' code on the heap. Because the location of the injected code is not exactly predictable, traditional heap-spraying attacks need to inject a huge amount of executable code to increase the chance of success. Injected executable code usually includes lots of NOP-like instructions leading to attackers' shellcode. Targeting this attack characteristic, previous solutions detect heap-spraying attacks by searching for the existence of such large amount of NOP sled and other shellcode.

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