Tracking Information Flow in Dynamic Tree Structures

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Abstract

This paper explores the problem of tracking information flow in dynamic tree structures. Motivated by the problem of manipulating the Document Object Model (DOM) trees by browser-run client-side scripts, we address the dynamic nature of interactions via tree structures. We present a runtime enforcement mechanism that monitors this interaction and prevents a range of attacks, some of them missed by previous approaches, that exploit the tree structure in order to transfer sensitive information. We formalize our approach for a simple language with DOM-like tree operations and show that the monitor prevents scripts from disclosing secrets.