AES-SEC: Improving software obfuscation through hardware-assistance (short paper)

AuthorSchrittwieser, Sebastian; Katzenbeisser, Stefan; Merzdovnik, Georg; Kieseberg, Peter; Weippl, Edgar
TypeConference Proceedings
AbstractWhile the resilience of software-only code obfuscation remains unclear and ultimately depends only on available resources and patience of the attacker, hardware-based software protection approaches can provide a much higher level of protection against program analysis. Almost no systematic research has been done on the interplay between hardware and software based protection mechanism. In this paper, we propose modifications to Intel's AES-NI instruction set in order to make it suitable for application in software protection scenarios and demonstrate its integration into a control flow obfuscation scheme. Our novel approach provides strong hardware-software binding and restricts the attack context to pure dynamic analysis - two major limiting factors of reverse engineering - to delay a successful attack against a program.
SerieARES '14
InProceedings of the 2014 Ninth International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security Pages, p.184-191
PublisherIEEE Computer Society