HAFIX: Hardware-Assisted Flow Integrity Extension

AuthorArias, Orlando; Davi, Lucas; Hanreich, Matthias; Jin, Yier; Koeberl, Patrick; Paul, Debayan; Sadeghi, Ahmad-Reza; Sullivan, Dean
TypeConference Proceedings
AbstractCode-reuse attacks like return-oriented programming (ROP) pose a severe threat to modern software on diverse processor architectures. Designing practical and secure defenses against code-reuse attacks is highly challenging and currently subject to intense research. However, no secure and practical system-level solutions exist so far, since a large number of proposed defenses have been successfully bypassed. To tackle this attack, we present HAFIX (Hardware-Assisted Flow Integrity eXtension), a defense against code-reuse attacks exploiting backward edges (returns). HAFIX provides fine-grained and practical protection, and serves as an enabling technology for future control-flow integrity instantiations. This paper presents the implementation and evaluation of \hwcfi\ for the Intel Siskiyou Peak and SPARC embedded system architectures, and demonstrates its security and efficiency in code-reuse protection while incurring only 2% performance overhead.
In52nd Design Automation Conference (DAC)