Dynamic taint tracking, a technique that traces relationships between values as a program executes, has been used to support a variety of software engineering tasks. Some taint tracking systems only consider data flows and ignore control flows. As a result, relationships between some values are not reflected by the analysis. Many applications of taint tracking either benefit from or rely on these relationships being traced, but past works have found that tracking control flows resulted in over-tainting, dramatically reducing the precision of the taint tracking system. In this article, we introduce Conflux , alternative semantics for propagating taint tags along control flows. Conflux aims to reduce over-tainting by decreasing the scope of control flows and providing a heuristic for reducing loop-related over-tainting. We created a Java implementation of Conflux and performed a case study exploring the effect of Conflux on a concrete application of taint tracking, automated debugging. In addition to this case study, we evaluated Conflux ’s accuracy using a novel benchmark consisting of popular, real-world programs. We compared Conflux against existing taint propagation policies, including a state-of-the-art approach for reducing control-flow-related over-tainting, finding that Conflux had the highest F1 score on 43 out of the 48 total tests.
This content will become publicly available on June 1, 2023
Compositional Information Flow Monitoring for Reactive Programs
To prevent applications from leaking users' private data to attackers, researchers have developed runtime information flow control (IFC) mechanisms. Most existing approaches are either based on taint tracking or multi-execution, and the same technique is used to protect the entire application. However, today's applications are typically composed of multiple components from heterogenous and unequally trusted sources. The goal of this paper is to develop a framework to enable the flexible composition of IFC enforcement mechanisms. More concretely, we focus on reactive programs, which is an abstract model for event-driven programs including web and mobile applications. We formalize the semantics of existing IFC enforcement mechanisms with well-defined interfaces for composition, define knowledge-based security guarantees that can precisely quantify the effect of implicit leaks from taint tracking, and prove sound all composed systems that we instantiate the framework with. We identify requirements for future enforcement mechanisms to be securely composed in our framework. Finally, we implement a prototype in OCaml and compare the effects of different compositions.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- 2022 IEEE 7th European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P)
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 467 to 486
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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