BlueHat security finalists announced

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Three finalists eye defense against Return Oriented Programming attacks 

Microsoft has announced the three finalists of its BlueHat defensive security competition, each handpicked for their techniques to mitigate Return Oriented-Programming (ROP) exploits.

In a nutshell, ROP allows attackers to execute code in the presence of non executable memory segments and code signing. ROP attackers have control of the call stack to execute instructions ahead of the return instruction in subroutines of code. The execution of instructions from inside a program avoids defensive measures designed to stop execution from user-controlled memory.

One of the defensive measures will see a researcher win the top prize of US$250,000, with second prize US$50,000 and third place scores a subscription to Microsoft’s developer network (MSDN) services valued at about US$10,000.

Competitors were allowed to keep their intellectual property and Microsoft would receive free licence to use it.

Respected security researcher Jared DeMott told SC he was glad to have reached the finals.

His submission, called /ROP, uses a whitelist to check the integrity of return addresses.

“I targeted ROP because it is currently the most used technique to exploit fully compiled software,” DeMott said.

“/ROP was designed with the Windows platform in mind, so I’m hoping they will implement it.  Other operating systems could implement similar strategies if they desire.”

He didn’t keep tabs on how long it took to build the system, saying only that “it took a while”.

Columbia University PhD graduate and security researcher Vasillis Pappas submitted kBouncer, which would use common hardware features to detect and mitigate abnormal control transfers.

A third researcher, Ivan Fratric from Croatia developed ROPGuard that defines a set of checks used to detect functions used in ROP.

Microsoft received 20 entries for the competition between 3 August last year and 1 April. Each submission was weighted first on impact, then robustness and practicality and functionality.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia


BlueHat security finalists announced
 
 
 
Top Stories
Innovating in the sleepy super industry
There’s little incentive to be on the bleeding edge, so why is Andrew Todd fighting so hard?
 
How technology will unify Toll
The systems headache formed through 15 years of acquisitions.
 
Immigration breached Privacy Act with data leak
Pilgrim slams "copy and paste" of asylum seeker data.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
More 4G from Optus in Darwin
Nov 21, 2014
Click to see where Optus has expanded coverage to the suburbs near Darwin.
Optus steps up regional 4G coverage
Nov 20, 2014
Once 700Mhz services are working, Optus claims regional users will have a "faster and more ...
This Huawei 4G phone costs $99
Nov 12, 2014
The $99 Huawei Ascend Y550, available through Vodafone, enters the budget market as one of the ...
4G smartphones: Microsoft's Lumia 830
Nov 7, 2014
Microsoft has announced its flagship Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 830 4G, will be available in ...
Do you direct debit customers? Read this
Oct 10, 2014
Authorities have been targeting direct debit practices with iiNet and Dodo receiving formal ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  38%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  7%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  8%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  20%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  5%
TOTAL VOTES: 844

Vote