Category Archives: Security

Me on PBS, Explaining Cyberattacks on Banks

Me on PBS, Explaining Cyberattacks on Banks

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 6.28.09 PMMy latest appearance on our local PBS affiliate WGBY’s program Connecting Point, this time explaining cyberattacks on banks (not a how-to!) — first segment.



My student Gene and I have just submitted a paper on the Most. Secure. Heap. Ever. 🙂 We plan to release the code soon, initially for Linux platforms. It’s a variant of the DieHard allocator, but with a number of key improvements that make it far more secure – better than all allocators we know of (something the analytical framework in this paper lets us actually evaluate). Missing are some new benchmark results showing that DieHarder performs about as well as or better than the OpenBSD allocator for a number of insanely allocation-intensive programs. Feedback welcome.

DieHarder: Securing the Heap
Gene Novark and Emery D. Berger

Heap-based attacks depend on a combination of memory management errors and an exploitable memory allocator. We analyze a range of widely-deployed memory allocators, including those used in Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. We show that despite numerous efforts to improve their security, they remain vulnerable to attack. We present the design and security analysis of DieHarder, a memory allocator that provides the highest degree of security from heap-based attacks of any practical allocator.
UMass CS Tech Report 2010-033