In a typical client-server scenario, a trusted server provides valuable services to a client, which runs remotely on an untrusted platform. Of the many security vulnerabilities that may arise (such as authentication and authorization), guaranteeing the integrity of the client code is one of the most difficult to address. This security vulnerability is an instance of the malicious host problem, where an adversary in control of the client`s host environment tries to tamper with the client code. We propose a novel client replacement strategy to counter the malicious host problem. The client code is periodically replaced by new orthogonal clients, such that their combination with the server is functionally-equivalent to the original client-server application. The reverse engineering efforts of the adversary are deterred by the complexity of analysis of frequently changing, orthogonal program code. We use the underlying concepts of program obfuscation as a basis for formally defining and providing orthogonality. We also give preliminary empirical validation of the proposed approach.

Remote software protection by orthogonal client replacement

Ceccato, Mariano;Tonella, Paolo;Majumdar, Anirban
2009

Abstract

In a typical client-server scenario, a trusted server provides valuable services to a client, which runs remotely on an untrusted platform. Of the many security vulnerabilities that may arise (such as authentication and authorization), guaranteeing the integrity of the client code is one of the most difficult to address. This security vulnerability is an instance of the malicious host problem, where an adversary in control of the client`s host environment tries to tamper with the client code. We propose a novel client replacement strategy to counter the malicious host problem. The client code is periodically replaced by new orthogonal clients, such that their combination with the server is functionally-equivalent to the original client-server application. The reverse engineering efforts of the adversary are deterred by the complexity of analysis of frequently changing, orthogonal program code. We use the underlying concepts of program obfuscation as a basis for formally defining and providing orthogonality. We also give preliminary empirical validation of the proposed approach.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/4545
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
social impact