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Software Tamper Resistance Through Dynamic Program Monitoring

  • Brian Blietz
  • Akhilesh Tyagi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3919)

Abstract

This paper describes a two instruction-stream (two-process) model for tamper resistance. One process (Monitor process, M-Process) is designed explicitly to monitor the control flow of the main program process (P-Process). The compilation phase compiles the software into two co-processes: P-process and M-process. The monitor process contains the control flow consistency conditions for the P-process. The P-process sends information on its instantiated control flow at a compiler specified fixed period to the M-process. If there is a violation of the control flow conditions captured within the M-process, the M-process takes an anti-tamper action such as termination of the P-process. By its very design, the monitor process is expected to be compact. Hence, we can afford to protect the M-process with a more expensive technique, a variant of Aucsmith’s scheme. This scheme has been implemented with the Gnu C compiler gcc. There are several other monitoring, obfuscation, and dynamic decryption techniques that are embedded in this system. We quantify the performance overhead of the scheme for a variety of programs. The performance of such an anti-tamper schema can be significantly improved by leveraging a decoupled processor architecture to support the decoupled M- and P- processes. We describe one instance of such a two-stream decoupled architecture that can make the scheme more robust and efficient.

Keywords

Hash Function Basic Block Cache Size Control Flow Graph Assembly Code 
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 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Blietz
    • 1
  • Akhilesh Tyagi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Electrical & Computer EngineeringIowa State UniversityAmes

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