Title: A software tool to protect executable files from buffer overflow attacks

Authors: Sahel Alouneh; Heba Bsoul; Mazen Kharbutli

Addresses: German Jordanian University, Amman Madaba Street, P.O. Box 35247, Amman 11180 Jordan ' Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan ' Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan

Abstract: Software systems are becoming more vulnerable to security breaches that might cause serious threats to information systems. Amid this evolving trend, one of the well-known and widely spreading security threats is the so called buffer overflow attack. If successful, such an attack executes an arbitrary code with the same access privileges as the attacked process. In this paper, we propose a new approach that aims at remedying the buffer overflow attacks by protecting function return addresses in the stack from being overwritten. Unlike other approaches, our proposed approach aims at detecting and fixing buffer overflow vulnerabilities in the executable files. In retrospect, the work presents a tool that can be used to convert a vulnerable program into a safe version that can be protected against buffer overflow attacks. We used a set of microbenchmarks to verify the operation of the developed tool and to assess the processing time overhead.

Keywords: software security; executable files; stack; return address protection; buffer overflow attacks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITST.2016.078583

International Journal of Internet Technology and Secured Transactions, 2016 Vol.6 No.2, pp.133 - 166

Available online: 23 Aug 2016 *

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