A Lightweight Buffer Overflow Protection Mechanism with Failure-Oblivious Capability

  • Tz-Rung Lee
  • Kwo-Cheng Chiu
  • Da-Wei Chang
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5574)


Buffer overflow has become a major source of network security vulnerability. Traditional schemes for detecting buffer overflow attacks usually terminate the attacked service, degrading the service availability. In this paper, we propose a lightweight buffer overflow protection mechanism that allows continued network service. The proposed mechanism allows a service program to reconfigure itself to identify and protect the vulnerable functions upon buffer overflow attacks. Protecting only the vulnerable functions, instead of the whole program, keeps the runtime overhead small. Moreover, the mechanism adopts the idea of failure-oblivious computing to allow service programs to execute through memory errors caused by the attacks once the vulnerable functions have been identified, eliminating the need of restarting the service program upon further attacks to the vulnerable functions. We have applied the mechanism on five Internet servers. The experiment results show that the mechanism has little impact on the runtime performance.


Buffer Overflow Attacks Network Security Self Reconfiguration Failure-Oblivious Computing Guard Pages 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tz-Rung Lee
    • 1
  • Kwo-Cheng Chiu
    • 1
  • Da-Wei Chang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceNational Chiao-Tung UniversityHsin-ChuTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and Information EngineeringNational Cheng-Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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