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OS fingerprinting tries to identify the type and version of a system based on gathered information of a target host. It is an essential step for many subsequent penetration attempts and attacks. Traditional OS fingerprinting depends on banner grabbing schemes or network traffic analysis results to identify the system. These interactive procedures can be detected by Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) or fooled by fake network packets. In this paper, the authors propose a new OS fingerprinting mechanism in virtual machine hypervisors that adopt the memory de-duplication technique. Specifically, when multiple memory pages with the same contents occupy only one physical page, their reading and writing access delay will demonstrate some special properties.
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