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MPKAlloc

Using memory protection keys (MPKs) available on Intel CPUs to protect meta-data in memory allocators.

To cite our paper, please use the following:

@inproceedings{MPKAlloc,
    title={MPKAlloc: Efficient Heap Meta-Data Integrity Through Hardware Memory Protection Keys},
    author={Blair, William and Robertson, William and Egele Manuel},
    booktitle={Conference on Detection of Intrusions and Malware, and Vulnerability Assessment},
    year={2022}
}

Installation

To start, first set up a Chromium build environment using the following instructions. MPKAlloc has only been tested on Linux, but given support from the operating system the approach may work on other platforms as well.

https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/main/docs/linux/build_instructions.md

The patch for embedding MPKAlloc into the Chromium source tree can be found in the patch directory. Alternatively, tcmalloc provides the files necessary to embed MPKAlloc within the standalone tcmalloc allocator found in gperftools version 2.7.

Project Layout

MPKAlloc consists of the following:

  • tcmalloc Files that embed MPKAlloc into tcmalloc found in gperftools version 2.7.
  • patch A patch to the Chromium source tree that embeds MPKAlloc into the tcmalloc and PartitionAlloc allocators. There is also support for counting the frequency of context switches which may be enabled by removing comments.
  • tools Scanning tools that detect meta-data pointers within the Chromium process and during execution.
  • example.png A fun website rendered with Chromium + MPKAlloc.

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