Combining Control-Flow Integrity and Static Analysis for Efficient and Validated Data Sandboxing
In many software attacks, inducing an illegal control-flow transfer in the target system is one common step. Control-Flow Integrity (CFI) protects a software system by enforcing a pre-determined control-flow graph. In addition to providing strong security, CFI enables static analysis on low-level code. This paper evaluates whether CFI-enabled static analysis can help build efficient and validated data sandboxing. Previous systems generally sandbox memory writes for integrity, but avoid protecting confidentiality due to the high overhead of sandboxing memory reads. To reduce overhead, the authors have implemented a series of optimizations that remove sandboxing instructions if they are proven unnecessary by static analysis.