Blender: Self-randomizing Address Space Layout for Android
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractIn this paper, we first demonstrate that the newly introduced Android RunTime (ART) in latest Android versions (Android 5.0 or above) exposes a new attack surface, namely, the “return-to-art” (ret2art) attack. Unlike traditional return-to-library attacks, the ret2art attack abuses Android framework APIs (e.g., the API to send SMS) as payloads to conveniently perform malicious operations. This new attack surface, along with the weakened ASLR implementation in the Android system, makes the successful exploiting of vulnerable apps much easier. To mitigate this threat and provide self-protection for Android apps, we propose a user-level solution called Blender, which is able to self-randomize address space layout for apps. Specifically, for an app using our system, Blender randomly rearranges loaded libraries and Android runtime executable code in the app’s process, achieving much higher memory entropy compared with the vanilla app. Blender requires no changes to the Android framework nor the underlying Linux kernel, thus is a non-invasive and easy-to-deploy solution. Our evaluation shows that Blender only incurs around 6 MB memory footprint increase for the app with our system, and does not affect other apps without our system. It increases 0.3 s of app starting delay, and imposes negligible CPU and battery overheads.
All Author(s) ListMingshen Sun, John C.S. Lui, Yajin Zhou
Name of ConferenceInternational Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusions, and Defenses (RAID 2016)
Start Date of Conference19/09/2016
End Date of Conference21/09/2016
Place of ConferenceParis
Country/Region of ConferenceFrance
Proceedings TitleResearch in Attacks, Intrusions, and Defenses
Series TitleLecture Notes in Computer Science
Year2016
Volume Number9854
PublisherSpringer
Pages457 - 480
ISBN978-3-319-45718-5
ISSN0302-9743
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2021-18-01 at 01:39