IsGameOver(), anyone? presented at BlackHatDC 2007

by Joanna Rutkowska, Alexander Tereshkin,


Summary : We will present new, practical methods for compromising Vista x64 kernel on the fly and discuss the irrelevance of TPM/Bitlocker technology in protecting against such non-persistent attacks. Then we will briefly discuss kernel infections of the type II (pure data patching), especially NDIS subversions that allow for generic bypassing of personal firewalls on Vista systems.
A significant amount of time will be devoted to presenting new details about virtualization-based malware. This will include presenting various detection methods that could be used to either detect the presence of a hypervisor or find the malware itself. We will also discuss why each of these approaches cannot be used to build a practical detector, either because they could be fully defeated by virtualization based malware or because they are very impractical. This will include demonstration of how virtualization based malware can avoid timing-based detection, even if a detector uses trusted time source. We will also discuss detection approaches based on exploiting CPU bugs. The conclusion of this part is that we still do not have any good way to detect virtualization based malware...
Were also going to talk about malware that fully supports nested virtualization (like e.g. our New Blue Pill does) and how this might be a challenge for OSes that would like to provide their own hypervisors in order to prevent Blue Pill-like attacks.
People say that once an attacker gets into the kernel, the game is over and we should reinstall the whole system from scratch. In this presentation we show that sometimes we cannot know that the game is actually over, so we do not even know when to stop trusting our systems. In order to change this we need something more then just a bunch of patches!