Protecting The Core: Kernel Exploitation Mitigations presented at Blackhat Europe 2011

by Patroklos Argyroudis (census inc), Dimitrios Glynos (census inc),

Tags: Security

Summary : The exploitation of operating system kernel vulnerabilities has received a great deal of attention lately. In userland most generic exploitation approaches have been defeated by countermeasure technologies. Contrary to userland protections, exploitation mitigation mechanisms for kernel memory corruptions have not been widely adopted. Recently this has started to change. Most operating system kernels have started to include countermeasures against NULL page mappings, stack and heap corruptions, as well as for other vulnerability classes. At the same time, researchers have concentrated on developing ways to bypass certain kernel protections on various operating systems. This presentation will describe in detail the state-of-the-art in kernel exploitation mitigations adopted (or not) by various operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD) and mobile platforms (iOS, Android). Moreover, it will also provide approaches, notes, hints and references to existing work for bypassing some of these kernel protections.