Security

Software Fault Isolation With API Integrity and Multi-Principal Modules

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Executive Summary

The security of many applications relies on the kernel being secure, but history suggests that kernel vulnerabilities are routinely discovered and exploited. In particular, exploitable vulnerabilities in kernel modules are common. This paper proposes LXFI, a system which isolates kernel modules from the core kernel so that vulnerabilities in kernel modules cannot lead to a privilege escalation attack. To safely give kernel modules access to complex kernel APIs, LXFI introduces the notion of API integrity, which captures the set of contracts assumed by an interface. To partition the privileges within a shared module, LXFI introduces module principals.

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