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Fine-Grained Detection of Privilege Escalation Attacks on Browser Extensions

  • Stefano Calzavara
  • Michele Bugliesi
  • Silvia Crafa
  • Enrico Steffinlongo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9032)

Abstract

Even though their architecture relies on robust security principles, it is well-known that poor programming practices may expose browser extensions to serious security flaws, leading to privilege escalations by untrusted web pages or compromised extension components. We propose a formal security analysis of browser extensions in terms of a fine-grained characterization of the privileges that an active opponent may escalate through the message passing interface and we discuss to which extent current programming practices take this threat into account. Our theory builds on a formal language that embodies the essential features of JavaScript, together with few additional constructs dealing with the security aspects specific to the browser extension architecture. We then present a flow logic specification estimating the safety of browser extensions modelled in our language against the threats of privilege escalation and we prove its soundness. Finally, we show the feasibility of our approach by means of Chen, a prototype static analyser for Google Chrome extensions based on our flow logic specification.

Keywords

Message Passing Interface Android Application Abstract Memory USENIX Security Symposium Abstract Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Calzavara
    • 1
  • Michele Bugliesi
    • 1
  • Silvia Crafa
    • 2
  • Enrico Steffinlongo
    • 1
  1. 1.Università Ca’ Foscari VeneziaVeneziaItaly
  2. 2.University of PadovaPaduaItaly

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