On Preventing Symbolic Execution Attacks by Low Cost Obfuscation

Toshiki Seto, Akito Monden, Zeynep Yucel, Yuichiro Kanzaki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

While various software obfuscation techniques have been proposed to protect software, new types of threats keep emerging such as the symbolic execution attacks. Such attacks automatically analyze programs and are not accounted for by many of the existing obfuscation methods. Nevertheless, several methods against symbolic execution attacks exist such as linear obfuscation methods relying on Collatz conjuncture or obfuscation methods based on one-way hash functions. However, these methods bear several issues. Namely, linear obfuscation is weak against manual analysis due to its deterministic output. On the other hand, SHA-1 requires significant computational cost; and thus, it can be applied to only a limited number of targets. Therefore, in this research, we propose to employ a combination of several computationally cheap (arithmetic) obfuscating operations for preventing symbolic execution attacks. Through an experiment using angr and KLEE as symbolic execution tools, we demonstrate that obfuscation operation using array reference, bit rotation and XOR effectively prevents symbolic execution attacks at a low computational cost.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 20th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2019
EditorsMasahide Nakamura, Hiroaki Hirata, Takayuki Ito, Takanobu Otsuka, Shun Okuhara
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages495-500
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728116518
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event20th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2019 - Toyama, Japan
Duration: Jul 8 2019Jul 11 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - 20th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2019

Conference

Conference20th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2019
CountryJapan
CityToyama
Period7/8/197/11/19

Keywords

  • program analysis
  • security
  • software protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management

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  • Cite this

    Seto, T., Monden, A., Yucel, Z., & Kanzaki, Y. (2019). On Preventing Symbolic Execution Attacks by Low Cost Obfuscation. In M. Nakamura, H. Hirata, T. Ito, T. Otsuka, & S. Okuhara (Eds.), Proceedings - 20th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2019 (pp. 495-500). [8935642] (Proceedings - 20th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/SNPD.2019.8935642