VIP: Safeguard Value Invariant Property for Thwarting Critical Memory Corruption Attacks


Most modern software attacks are rooted in memory corruption vulnerabilities, which are capable of altering security-sensitive data (e.g., function pointers) to unintended values. This paper introduces a new security property, the Value Invariant Property (VIP), and HyperSpace, our prototype that enforces VIP on security-sensitive data. HyperSpace safeguards the integrity of “data values” instead of enforcing control/data flow, allowing for low runtime overhead, yet defeating critical attacks effectively. We implement four representative security policies including Control Flow Integrity (VIP-CFI), Code Pointer Integrity (VIP-CPI), Virtual function Table protection (VIP-VTPtr), and heap metadata protection based on HyperSpace. We evaluate HyperSpace with SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks and real-world applications (NGINX and PostgreSQL) and test how HyperSpace defeats memory corruption-based attacks, including three real-world exploits and six attacks that bypass existing defenses (COOP, heap exploits, etc.). Our experimental evaluation shows that HyperSpace successfully stops all these attacks with low runtime overhead: 0.88% and 6.18% average performance overhead for VIP-CFI and VIP-CPI, respectively, and overall approximately 13.18% memory overhead with VIP-CPI in SPEC CPU2006.

In Proceedings of the 28th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS)
Yeongjin Jang
Yeongjin Jang
Principal Software Engineer

My research interests include cybersecurity/hacking, automated vulnerability discovery/analysis, secure system design, and applied cryptography.