Memory Safety for Low-Level Software/Hardware Interactions

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Executive Summary

Systems that enforce memory safety for today's operating system kernels and other system software do not account for the behavior of low-level software/hardware interactions such as memory-mapped I/O, MMU configuration, and context switching. Bugs in such low-level interactions can lead to violations of the memory safety guarantees provided by a safe execution environment and can lead to exploitable vulnerabilities in system software. In this work, the authors present a set of program analysis and run-time instrumentation techniques that ensure that errors in these low-level operations do not violate the assumptions made by a safety checking system.

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