The Mac Hacker's Handbook
Charlie Miller, Dino Dai Zovi
As more and more vulnerabilities are found in the Mac OS X (Leopard) operating system, security researchers are realizing the importance of developing proof-of-concept exploits for those vulnerabilities. This unique tome is the first book to uncover the flaws in the Mac OS X operating system and how to deal with them. Written by two white hat hackers, this book is aimed at making vital information known so that you can find ways to secure your Mac OS X systems, and examines the sorts of attacks that are prevented by Leopard's security defenses, what attacks aren't, and how to best handle those weaknesses.
- Wiley; 1st edition (March 3, 2009)
- Order it at Amazon.com
The Art of Software Security Testing: Identifying Software Security Flaws
Chris Wysopal, Luke Nelson, Dino Dai Zovi, Elfriede Dustin
Drawing on decades of experience in application and penetration testing, this book's authors can help you transform your approach from mere "verification" to proactive "attack." The authors begin by systematically reviewing the design and coding vulnerabilities that can arise in software, and offering realistic guidance in avoiding them. Next, they show you ways to customize software debugging tools to test the unique aspects of any program and then analyze the results to identify exploitable vulnerabilities.
- Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (December 10, 2006)
- Order it at Amazon.com
Attacking Automatic Wireless Network Selection
Dino A. Dai Zovi, Shane Macaulay
Wireless 802.11 networking is becoming so prevalent that many users have become accustomed to having available wireless networks in their workplace, home, and many public places such as airports and coffee shops. Modern client operating systems implement automatic wireless network discovery and known network identification to facilitate wireless networking for the end-user. In order to implement known network discovery, client operating systems remember past wireless networks that have been joined and automatically look for these networks (referred to as Preferred or Trusted Networks) whenever the wireless network adapter is enabled. By examining these implementations in detail, we have discovered previously undisclosed vulnerabilities in the implementation of these algorithms under the two most prevalent client operating systems, Windows XP and MacOS X. With custom base station software, an attacker may cause clients within wireless radio range to associate to the attacker's wireless network without user interaction or notification. This will occur even if the user has never connected to a wireless network before or they have an empty Preferred/Trusted Networks List. We describe these vulnerabilities as well as their implementation and impact.
- Proceedings of the 6th IEEE SMC Information Assurance Workshop
- Technical Whitepaper
Randomized Instruction Set Emulation To Disrupt Binary Code Injection Attacks
Gabriela Barrantes, David H. Ackley, Dino Dai Zovi, Stephanie Forrest, Trek S. Palmer, Darko Stefanovic
Many remote attacks against computer systems inject binary code into the execution path of a running program, gaining control of the program's behavior. If each defended system or program could use a machine instruction set that was both unique and private, such binary code injection attacks would become extremely difficult if not impossible. A binary-to-binary translator provides an economic and flexible implementation path for realizing that idea. As a proof of concept, we describe a randomized instruction set emulator (RISE) based on the open-source Valgrind x86-to-x86 binary translator. Although currently very slow and memory-intensive, our prototype RISE can indeed disrupt binary code injection attacks against a program without requiring its recompilation, linking, or access to source code. We describe the RISE implementation, give evidence demonstrating that RISE defeats common attacks, consider consequences of the dense x86 instruction set on the method's effects, and discuss limitations of the RISE prototype as well as design tradeoffs and extensions of the underlying idea.
Security Applications of Dynamic Binary Translation
Dino Dai Zovi
The last 13 years have seen a large number of serious computer security vulnerabilities. Some of the most pernicious of these vulnerabilities have been buffer overflow and format string vulnerabilities in widely used software applications. A number of Internet worms have exploited these vulnerabilities to infect target hosts. The first part of this work introduces a framework for understanding and describing attacks that dynamically inject machine code into a process and the vulnerabilities that enable these attacks. The techniques used in these attacks are described in detail. The second part of this work describes the application of dynamic binary translation, previously a technique primarily for dynamic optimization, to stopping and mitigating these sorts of attacks. The implementations of several known techniques using a dynamic binary translation system are described in detail. Finally, some conclusions about the applicability of dynamic binary translation to computer security are made.
SIND: A Framework for Binary Translation
Trek Palmer, Dino Dai Zovi, and Darko Stefanovic
Recent work with dynamic optimization in platform independent, virtual machine based languages such as Java has sparked interest in the possibility of applying similar techniques to arbitrary compiled binary programs. Systems such as Dynamo, DAISY, and FX!32 exploit dynamic optimization techniques to improve performance of native or foreign architecture binaries. However, research in this area is complicated by the lack of openly licensed, freely available, and platform-independent experimental frameworks. SIND aims to fill this void by providing a easily-extensible and flexible framework for research and development of applications and techniques of binary translation. Current research focuses are dynamic optimization of running binaries and dynamic security augmentation and integrity assurance.
Dino Dai Zovi
Loadable Kernel Modules (LKMs) allow the running operating system kernel to be extended dynamically. Most modern UNIX-like systems, including Solaris, Linux, and FreeBSD, use or support loadable kernel modules. The facility offers more flexibility than the traditional method of recompiling the kernel to add new hardware support or functionality; new drivers or functionality can be loaded at any time. A loaded kernel module has the same capabilities as code compiled into the kernel. This gives loadable drivers a lot of flexibility and power. However, it also allows a maliciously written kernel module to subvert the entire operating system kernel.