High-Speed Matching of Vulnerability Signatures

  • Nabil Schear
  • David R. Albrecht
  • Nikita Borisov
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5230)

Abstract

Vulnerability signatures offer better precision and flexibility than exploit signatures when detecting network attacks. We show that it is possible to detect vulnerability signatures in high-performance network intrusion detection systems, by developing a matching architecture that is specialized to the task of vulnerability signatures. Our architecture is based upon: i) the use of high-speed pattern matchers, together with control logic, instead of recursive parsing, ii) the limited nature and careful management of implicit state, and iii) the ability to avoid parsing large fragments of the message not relevant to a vulnerability.

We have built a prototype implementation of our architecture and vulnerability specification language, called VESPA, capable of detecting vulnerabilities in both text and binary protocols. We show that, compared to full protocol parsing, we can achieve 3x or better speedup, and thus detect vulnerabilities in most protocols at a speed of 1 Gbps or more. Our architecture is also well-adapted to being integrated with network processors or other special-purpose hardware. We show that for text protocols, pattern matching dominates our workload and great performance improvements can result from hardware acceleration.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Pang, R., Paxson, V., Sommer, R., Peterson, L.: binpac: A yacc for Writing Application Protocol Parsers. In: Proceedings of the Internet Measurement Conference (2006)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wang, H.J., Guo, C., Simon, D.R., Zugenmaier, A.: Shield: Vulnerability-Driven Network Filters for Preventing Known Vulnerability Exploits. In: ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communications Review (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    CERT: “Code Red” Worm Exploiting Buffer Overflow in IIS Indexing Service DLL. CERT Advisory CA-2001-19 (July 2001), www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-19.html
  4. 4.
    Friedl, S.: Analysis of the New “Code Red II” Variant (August 2001), http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/CodeRedII.html
  5. 5.
    Microsoft: Unchecked Buffer in ISAPI Extension Could Enable Compromise of IIS 5.0 Server. Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-033 (June 2001), www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-023.mspx
  6. 6.
    Rescorla, E.: Security Holes... Who Cares?. In: Paxson, V. (ed.) USENIX Security Symposium (August 2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Borisov, N., Brumley, D.J., Wang, H.J., Dunagan, J., Joshi, P., Guo, C.: A Generic Application-Level Protocol Parser Analyzer and its Language. In: Proceedings of the 14th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (2007)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Paxson, V.: Bro: A System for Detecting Network Intruders in Real-time. Comput. Netw. 31(23-24), 2435–2463 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Brumley, D., Newsome, J., Song, D., Wang, H., Jha, S.: Towards Automatic Generation of Vulnerability-Based Signatures. In: Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    CVE: Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures, http://cve.mitre.org/
  11. 11.
    Aho, A.V., Corasick, M.J.: Efficient String Matching: an Aid to Bibliographic Search. Commun. ACM 18(6), 333–340 (1975)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wu, S., Manber, U.: A Fast Algorithm for Multi-Pattern Searching. Technical Report TR-94-17, Department of Computer Science, University of Arizona (1994)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Clark, C., Lee, W., Schimmel, D., Contis, D., Koné, M., Thomas, A.: A Hardware Platform for Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention. In: Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Network Processors and Applications (2004)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Brodie, B.C., Taylor, D.E., Cytron, R.K.: A Scalable Architecture For High-Throughput Regular-Expression Pattern Matching. In: ISCA, pp. 191–202 (2006)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dreger, H., Feldmann, A., Mai, M., Paxson, V., Sommer, R.: Dynamic Application-layer Protocol Analysis for Network Intrusion Detection. In: USENIX-SS 2006: Proceedings of the 15th conference on USENIX Security Symposium, Berkeley, CA, USA, p. 18. USENIX Association (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dominus, M.J.: Higher Order Perl: Transforming Programs with Programs. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sourcefire, Inc.: Snort, www.snort.org
  18. 18.
    Watson, B.W., Cleophas, L.: SPARE Parts: a C++ Toolkit for String Pattern Recognition. Softw. Pract. Exper. 34(7), 697–710 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cui, W., Peinado, M., Wang, H.J., Locasto, M.E.: ShieldGen: Automatic Data Patch Generation for Unknown Vulnerabilities with Informed Probing. In: Pfitzmann, B., McDaniel, P. (eds.) IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, May 2007, pp. 252–266 (2007)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    NISCC: Vulnerability Advisory 589088/NISCC/DNS (May 2005), http://www.cpni.gov.uk/docs/re-20050524-00432.pdf
  21. 21.
    Clark, C.R., Schimmel, D.E.: Scalable Pattern Matching for High-Speed Networks. In: IEEE Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines (FCCM), Napa, California, pp. 249–257 (2004)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
  23. 23.
    Turner, J.S., Crowley, P., DeHart, J., Freestone, A., Heller, B., Kuhns, F., Kumar, S., Lockwood, J., Lu, J., Wilson, M., Wiseman, C., Zar, D.: Supercharging PlanetLab: A High Performance, Multi-application, Overlay Network Platform. SIGCOMM Computing Communications Review 37(4), 85–96 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Liang, Z., Sekar, R.: Fast and Automated Generation of Attack Signatures: A Basis for Building Self-protecting Servers. In: Meadows, C. (ed.) ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, November 2005, pp. 213–222. ACM, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Brumley, D., Wang, H., Jha, S., Song, D.: Creating Vulnerability Signatures Using Weakest Pre-conditions. In: Proceedings of the 2007 Computer Security Foundations Symposium, Venice, Italy (July 2007)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Slowinska, A., Bos, H.: The Age of Data: Pinpointing Guilty Bytes in Polymorphic Buffer Overflows on Heap or Stack. In: Samarati, P., Payne, C. (eds.) Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (December 2007)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Boyer, R.S., Moore, J.S.: A Fast String Searching Algorithm. Commun. ACM 20(10), 762–772 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Flex: The Fast Lexical Analyzer, http://www.gnu.org/software/flex
  29. 29.
    PCRE: Perl Compatible Regular Expression Library, http://www.pcre.org
  30. 30.
    Smith, R., Estan, C., Jha, S.: XFA: Faster Signature Matching with Extended Automata. In: Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (2008)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rubin, S., Jha, S., Miller, B.P.: Protomatching Network Traffic for High Throughput Network Intrusion Detection. In: Proceedings of the 13th ACM conference on Computer and communications security (2006)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Li, Z., Xia, G., Tang, Y., He, Y., Chen, Y., Liu, B., West, J., Spadaro, J.: NetShield: Matching with a Large Vulnerability Signature Ruleset for High Performance Network Defense (manuscript) (2008)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ptacek, T.H., Newsham, T.N.: Insertion, Evasion, and Denial of Service: Eluding Network Intrusion Detection. Technical report, Secure Networks, Inc., Suite 330, 1201 5th Street S.W, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2R-0Y6 (1998)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Roesch, M.: Snort—Lightweight Intrusion Detection for Networks. In: Parter, D. (ed.) Proceedings of the 1999 USENIX LISA Systems Administration Conference, Berkeley, CA, USA, November 1999, pp. 229–238. USENIX Association (1999)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    de Bruijn, W., Slowinska, A., van Reeuwijk, K., Hruby, T., Xu, L., Bos, H.: SafeCard: A Gigabit IPS on the Network Card. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium On Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nabil Schear
    • 1
  • David R. Albrecht
    • 2
  • Nikita Borisov
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 

Personalised recommendations