Deobfuscating tools for the validation and verification of tamper-proofed software

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2007
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
FA8650-07-C-1207
Award Id:
78086
Agency Tracking Number:
O064-NC5-1013
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
317 N. Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY, 14850
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
603978321
Principal Investigator:
Thomas Johnson
Software Engineer
(607) 273-7340
tjohnson@grammatech.com
Business Contact:
Ray Teitelbaum
CEO/Chairman
(607) 273-7340
tt@grammatech.com
Research Institution:
THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV-APL
Andy Thompson
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD, 20723 6099
(240) 228-0708
Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
Recently, there has been an increase in the use of anti-tamper techniques (e.g., obfuscation) in all types of software. However, applying anti-tamper techniques is technically challenging, and when applied to large, sophisticated software, there is a danger of introducing subtle bugs, or not introducing sufficient protection. The existing state of anti-tamper technology is undesirable in that it (a) is much too effective at protecting (small) malware samples, but (b) does not offer sufficient guarantees of correctness and protection for (large) legitimate applications. We propose a deobfuscation tool that uses machine-code analysis to check that the (self-protecting) program output from a tamper-proofing tool is indeed protected, and has the same behavior as the input program. This deobfuscator leverages concolic analysis techniques. Program analysis techniques can be divided into dynamic analyses that observe the subject program when executed on a set of inputs, and static analyses that consider all possible executions, without executing the subject program on any particular input. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses. Concolic analysis combines static and dynamic analyses and leverage the strengths of each to counter the weaknesses of the other.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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