This year, VUSec had 2 papers accepted at USENIX Security ’18: Malicious Management Unit (how to use the MMU to mount indirect cache attacks and bypass software-based defenses) and TLBleed (how to mount TLB side-channel attacks across threads and leak fine-grained information).
Category Archives: publication
Technical report: Benchmarking Crimes: An Emerging Threat in Systems Security
Or: if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime
Several days ago, we released a technical report entitled Benchmarking Crimes: An Emerging Threat in Systems Security. The paper was intended for publication at a security conference but was rejected at multiple venues. To let our work be a supporting piece of evidence and analysis for the community to build on, we share our work with the community as a technical report, and we publish it on Arxiv.org.
The results are as revealing as they are damning: we formulate 22 different benchmarking crimes, each of which violates the results of a benchmark in a minor or major fashion. We survey 50 different systems security defense papers. We include papers published by this group in that selection. To gauge reliability, the survey is performed twice – we let two independent readers perform this survey. Their findings are consistent: in this wide study of accepted papers at top systems security venues, all papers had committed benchmarking crimes in some number and degree of egregiousness.
Most of these are recent papers (2015), but a significant fraction are from 2010. This longitudinal component of the study tells us that not only are benchmarking crimes widespread, but also no better in modern papers than in older ones.
This raises the question of how we can trust benchmarks in research results. We hope our work will contribute to an improvement in this situation.
The Register has coverage.
Press outlets and other organisations have picked up on this work: wired, arstechnica, ACM Tech News, NCSC, bleepingcomputer.com, Tom’s Hardware, security.nl, theregister, tweakers.net, digitaljournal.com, CSO Australia, hackaday, slashdot, securityweek.com, heise.de, theinquirer.net, itnews.com.au, eejournal.com, habrahabr.ru, impress.co.jp, paper.li, boingboing.net.
Also some of our favourite podcasts picked it up: securitynow episode 600, ISC Internet Storm Center podcast, risky.biz episode #444.
Drammer: Flip Feng Shui goes mobile
Our Drammer paper and information page are finally online. Flip Feng Shui (aka deterministic Rowhammer) attacks coming to an Android device near you!
4 papers accepted at NDSS
This year, VUSec had 4 papers accepted at NDSS ’17: AnC (a new side-channel-based ASLR bypass), SafeInit (efficient protection against uninitialized reads), a new evolutionary fuzzer (AFL on steroids), and Marx (uncovering class hierarchies in C++ programs, with @thorstenholz’s group at @ruhrunibochum).
2 papers accepted at EuroS&P
This year, VUSec had 2 papers accepted at EuroS&P ’17: Nucleus (compiler-agnostic function detection) and CodeArmor (how to efficiently re-randomize code every few microseconds).
VUSec at Black Hat Europe
VUSec has two presentations accepted at Black Hat Europe this year: (i) Flip Feng Shui (Rowhammer+dedup for reliable bit flip exploitation) and (ii) clang’s SafeStack bypass based on our thread spraying and allocation oracles work on information hiding.
Dedup Est Machina wins the Pwnie Award at Black Hat USA
Our Dedup Est Machina S&P paper (abusing memory deduplication and Rowhammer to own Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 without software vulnerabilities) won the Pwnie Award for Most Innovative Research at Black Hat USA.
Article (in Dutch) about this in De Volkskrant.
2 papers accepted at CCS
This year, VUSec had 2 papers accepted at CCS: Drammer (Deterministic Rowhammer attacks) and TypeSan (a practical type confusion detector).
3 papers presented at DSN
This year, VUSec presented 3 papers at DSN. (1) OSIRIS (efficient and consistent whole-OS crash recovery), (2) HSFI (scalable and representative fault injection), (3) MvArmor (secure and efficient MVX with Dune). All the code is open source. Check it out at https://github.com/vusec. OSIRIS was selected for the Best paper session.