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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Software, volume 4, numbers 1 and 2, 2011 // View article soft_v4_n12_2011_4


An Information Flow Approach for Preventing Race Conditions: Dynamic Protection of the Linux OS

Authors:
Jonathan Rouzaud-Cornabas
Patrice Clemente
Christian Toinard

Keywords: Computer security; data security; access control; operating systems.

Abstract:
In the literature, the notion of Race Condition deals with the interference between two processes A and B carrying out three interactions involving a shared object. The second interaction of the concurrent process B interleaves with the first and the third interactions of process A. Preventing Race Conditions attacks between concurrent processes is still an open problem. Many limitations remain such as preventing only Race Conditions on a file system or controlling only direct interactions with the shared context. That paper covers those various problems. First, it gives a formal definition of direct and indirect information flows at the scale of a complete operating system. Second, it proposes a general formalization of Race Conditions using those information flows. In contrast with existing formalizations, our definition is very effective and can be implemented on any operating system. Third, it provides a Mandatory Access Control that enables to prevent general Race Conditions at the scale of a whole Linux operating system. The Race Conditions can be easily expressed as a Security Properties policy. A honeypot experimentation provides a large scale evaluation of our dynamic MAC enforcement. It shows the efficiency to prevent both direct and indirect Race Conditions. Performances are encouraging us to follow our approach of a dynamic MAC for enforcing a larger range of security properties.

Pages: 34 to 45

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2011. Used with permission.

Publication date: September 15, 2011

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2628

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