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Emerald: Binary Program Randomization

Award Information

Department of Homeland Security
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
DHS SBIR-2012.1-H-SB012.1-002 -0023-I
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ensighta Security, Inc.
2003 VINE ST Berkeley, CA 94709-2015
View profile »
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Emerald: Binary Program Randomization
Agency: DHS
Contract: HSHQDC-12-C-00025
Award Amount: $99,988.29


In response to SBIR topic H-SB012.1-002, "Moving Target Defense", Ensighta Security Inc proposes to develop a binary program randomization tool based on advanced binary analysis techniques called Emerald. Current computer systems suffer from mono-culture where the same system is deployed identically on many machines. This makes it easy for attackers to replicate attacks across many machines. Binary program randomization can be an effective technique for moving target defense. Emerald will employ state-of-the-art techniques to understand a binary program's code paths and data structures, which allows us to comprehensively randomize the binary program at multiple levels. This will maximize the difficulty randomization provides for attackers as the search space that the attacker has to examine significantly increases. Our technique also minimizes the attack surface as there is no need for either the original un-randomized software, or the randomization software itself, to reside on the end-user's computer, reducing the possibilities for an attacker to disable the randomization process. In terms of commercial uses of this technology, providing an effective binary program randomization tool will be greeted with enthusiasm by potential users while both government and commercial sectors are spending more money on securing their data and infrastructure. We will develop an operationally ready version of Emerald in Phase 2. At the beginning of the Phase 1 project, we will have a TRL of 3. We will have a TRL of 5 at the completion of Phase 1.

Principal Investigator:

Jimmy Z. Su

Business Contact:

Dawn X. Song
Small Business Information at Submission:

Ensighta Security, Inc.
2700 Le Conte Ave, Suite 601 Berkeley, CA 94709-1052

EIN/Tax ID: 262672251
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: Yes