Skip to main content
Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2017

Full Program »

QUASAR: Quantitative Attack Space Analysis and Reasoning

Computer security has long been an arms race between attacks and defenses. While new defenses are proposed and built to stop specific vectors of attacks, novel, sophisticated attacks are devised by attackers to bypass them. This rapid cycle of defenses and attacks has made it difficult to strategically reason about the protection offered by each defensive technique, the coverage of a set of defenses, and possible new vectors of attack for which to design future defenses. In this work, we present QUASAR, a framework that systematically analyzes attacks and defenses at the granularity of the capabilities necessary to mount the attacks. We build a complete model of attacks in the memory corruption domain, and represent various prominent defenses in this domain. We demonstrate that QUASAR can be used to compare defenses at a fundamental level (what they do instead of how they do it), reason about the coverage of a defensive configuration, and hypothesize about possible new attack strategies. We show that of the top five hypothesized new attack strategies, in fact, four have been published in security venues over the past two years. We investigate the fifth hypothesized vector ourselves and demonstrate that it is, in fact, a viable vector of attack.

Richard Skowyra
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
United States

Steven Gomez
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
United States

David Bigelow
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
United States

James Landry
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
United States

Hamed Okhravi
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
United States

 

Powered by OpenConf®
Copyright ©2002-2017 Zakon Group LLC