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This paper introduces the Linux Kernel Integrity Monitor (LKIM) as an improvement over conventional methods of software integrity measurement. LKIM employs contextual inspection as a means to more completely characterize the operational integrity of a running kernel. In addition to cryptographically hashing static code and data in the kernel, dynamic data structures are examined to provide improved integrity measurement. The base approach examines structures that control the execution flow of the kernel through the use of function pointers as well as other data that affect the operation of the kernel. Such structures provide an efficient means of extending the kernel operations, but they are also a means of inserting malicious code without modifying the static parts.
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