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Endpoint security via Application sandboxing and virtualization: Past, present, future Rafal Wojtczuk

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Presentation on theme: "Endpoint security via Application sandboxing and virtualization: Past, present, future Rafal Wojtczuk"— Presentation transcript:

1 Endpoint security via Application sandboxing and virtualization: Past, present, future Rafal Wojtczuk

2 Bromium Confidential We will talk mostly about securing Windows client systems Application sandboxes Sandboxie Chrome sandbox Virtualization-based sandboxes Qubes OS Bromium vSentry Agenda

3 Bromium Confidential Environment designed to run untrusted (or exploitable) code, in a manner that prevents the encapsulated code from damaging the rest of the system The aim of a sandbox is to isolate threats Protection by isolation, not detection What is a sandbox?

4 Bromium Confidential Infeasible or too expensive to write a bug-free complex code Many approaches (AV, HIPS, NIPS) have limited effectiveness Particularly against 0days Containing a malicious code in a jail is doable How effective? Why we need sandboxing?

5 Bromium Confidential Type A: OS enhancement based: Sandboxie, Buffer Zone Pro etc. Type B: Master/slave model: Adobe ReaderX, Chrome browser Types of application sandboxes

6 Bromium Confidential Example: Sandboxie (available since 2006), BufferZone Pro Custom kernel driver modifies Windows behavior, so that change to protected system components is prevented Use cases: Most of such sandboxes are used for controlled execution of applications Sandboxie is widely used for malware analysis TYPE A

7 Bromium Confidential Application Sandbox Type A

8 Architectural Discussion: Type A There is a lot of kernel interaction that the sandbox needs to allow for applications to work as designed It relies on the assumption that OS kernel is not compromised The sandbox cannot protect against malicious kernel mode malware

9 Bromium Confidential Example: Google Chrome (available since 2008), Adobe Reader Two processes - master and slave, talking over IPC channel Slave is confined using OS access control facilities Master mediates access to resources Use case: protect the application from exploitation Google Chrome and Adobe Reader are popular applications mainly for web and content rendering TYPE B

10 Bromium Confidential Application Sandbox Type B

11 Architectural Discussion: Type B Master has smaller codebase, the point being – it should be tougher to exploit it Slave has a bigger attack surface that needs to be ‘brokered’ by the master Slave still directly interacts with the OS Kernel – the attack surface is limited but far from zero (win32k.sys)

12 App Sandboxes: Important Points Application sandboxes are fundamentally vulnerable to kernel mode attacks The sandbox is entirely bypassed, not penetrated Layering sandboxes doesn’t help The attack surface of commodity OS kernels is large, with no reasonable hope of securing them

13 Bromium Confidential Windows kernel issues are discovered increasingly frequently 25 CVE items for Windows kernel in CVE items in the first 3 months of 2013 There have been targeted attacks like Duqu that have targeted kernel vulnerabilities Cansecwest 2013 Chrome sandbox bypass by MWR Labs used two stage exploit First compromise the slave Then compromise the kernel Yes… it’s a big problem! Is this a problem?

14 CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE CVE Exploit: MS SANDBOX BASED DEFENSE “IN-DEPTH” #EPICFAIL

15 User Mode Exploitation Type A and Type B do not restrict network connectivity for a sandboxed process. The exception to this rule is Google Chrome that has been hardened to restrict TCP/IP networking in case the renderer got exploited. All vulns in these services are a sandbox escape vector Even properly functioning code can be abused

16 Bromium Confidential ALPC ports [12] are a low-level mechanism used for interprocess communication on the Windows OS. Again, many Windows services listen on ALPC ports; if a sandboxed code can connect to these services, it can attempt to exploit a vulnerability in it. Chrome sandbox documentation correctly states that the sandboxed process cannot obtain new handles to almost all existing interesting objects, including ALPC ports. However, it is not enough – care must be taken to not leak important handles from the pre-sandbox process state into the sandbox. ALPC Ports

17 Bromium Confidential Wrap the OS in a sandbox such that OS (and other application) vulnerabilities are nonfatal – this can be achieved using a Virtual Machine based environment What are the alternatives?

18 Bromium Confidential Just do unsafe activities in a standalone VM Manageability problems Ultimately, VM will get dirty How about using many VMs? Managing multiple OS images is painful First approximation – standalone VM(s)

19 Bromium Confidential Manageability Performance Hypervisor and supporting environment is still an attack vector, arguably small enough to be defensible Security vs features tradeoff, e.g. GPU virtualization Virtualization-based sandboxing challenges

20 Bromium Confidential Qubes OS (available since 2010)

21 Bromium Confidential Based on a bare-metal hypervisor (Xen) All user applications run in “AppVMs”, lightweight VMs based on Linux – one VM per each “role” Qubes GUI virtualization presents applications like if they were running locally (aka “seamless” mode) Networking code sand-boxed in an unprivileged VM (using IOMMU/VT-d) Centralized updates of all AppVMs based on the same template Disposable VMs Qubes OS main features

22 Bromium Confidential Requires some discipline/training from the user: To perform each task in the proper AppVM or disposable VM To manage files scattered across VMs Using off-the-shelf multipurpose large hypervisor Vulnerable to “sysret” vulnerability, CVE On the other hand, very careful to introduce as little supporting privileged code as possible, good Linux focused, limited support for Windows VMs Using type 1 hypervisor means deployment issues Qubes OS deficiencies

23 Bromium Confidential Bromium vSentry

24 Bromium Confidential Available since 2012 For Windows, based on type 2 hypervisor (derived from Xen) Easily deployable – just install.msi file Mac OSX version almost ready Each instance of application runs in a separate VM No need for the human to be involved in VM management Possible due to ultra-optimized VM creation time Heavily customized/stripped hypervisor By design, NOT Vulnerable to “sysret” vulnerability, CVE Many enterprise-friendly features E.g. transparent support for web proxies that require NTLM authentication Bromium vSentry main features

25 Bromium Confidential No support for dedicated networking VM … yet In comparison with Qubes, more supporting privileged code Still managable from security viewpoint Ultimately, at least partially solvable by using Intel Trusted Execution technology and deprivileging the host Bromium vSentry current deficiencies

26 Bromium Confidential Will someday virtualization-based sandboxing become omnipresent (well, at least as Chrome sandbox currently)? Some features are unique E.g. vSentry sandboxes MS Office applications The resilience against kernel exploits should be relevant Any chance for secure Windows kernel soon? Some mitigations, e.g. SMAP, are interesting, but not a silver bullet Functionality concerns Intel will provide hardware-assisted GPU virtualization some day So yes, there is a fair chance Assuming in real life the number of vulnerabilities will be close to 0 Future

27 Bromium Confidential Most of the above material was prepared in cooperation with Rahul Kashyap Acknowledgements


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