EC: Embedded Systems Compartmentalization via Intra-Kernel Isolation.

SP(2023)

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摘要
Embedded systems comprise of low-power microcontrollers and constitute computing systems from IoT nodes to supercomputers. Unfortunately, due to the low power constraint, the security of these systems is often overlooked, leaving a huge attack surface. For instance, an attacker compromising a user task can access any kernel data structure. Existing work has applied compartmentalization to reduce the attack surface, but these systems either incur a high runtime overhead or require major modifications to existing firmware. In this paper, we present Embedded Compartmentalizer (EC), a comprehensive and automatic compartmentalization toolchain for Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOSs) and baremetal firmware. EC provides the Embedded Compartmentalizer Compiler (ECC) to automatically partition firmware into different compartments and enforces memory protection among them using the Embedded Compartmentalizer Kernel (ECK), a formally verified microkernel implementing a novel architecture for compartmentalizing firmware using intra-kernel isolation. Our evaluation shows that EC is 1.2x faster than state-of-the-art systems and can achieve up to 96.2% ROP gadget reduction in firmwares. EC provides a low-cost, practical, and effective compartmentalization solution for embedded systems with memory protection and debug hardware extension.
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关键词
Embedded-systems,Compartmentalization
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