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
Westpac committed to core banking plan
[Blog post] Now with leadership.
 
The True Cost of BYOD - 2014 survey
Twelve months on from our first study, is BYOD a better proposition?
 
Photos: Unboxing the Magnus supercomputer
Pawsey's biggest beast slots into place.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Pass on carbon tax savings, warns ACCC
Jul 24, 2014
The ACCC is warning businesses that supply "regulated goods" to pass on any cost savings ...
Have customers that won't pay debts?
Jul 10, 2014
The ACCC and ASIC have updated their advice when it comes to collecting debts.
Carpet cleaner faces court over online testimonials
Jul 4, 2014
The ACCC has initiated proceedings against A Whistle (1979) Pty Ltd, the franchisor of Electrodry...
You can now get 15GB of free online storage using Microsoft OneDrive
Jun 25, 2014
Cloud storage has reached both the capacity and price where it's a viable alternative to local ...
Another clever trick you can perform with Xero
Jun 25, 2014
Here is another way to reach out to particular subsets of your customers using Xero.
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  29%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  27%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  22%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  4%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 1136

Vote