Covert Loading and Execution of Software Protections to Reduce Adversarial Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-08-M-1433
Agency Tracking Number: O081-IA2-1036
Amount: $99,978.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD08-IA2
Solicitation Number: 2008.1
Small Business Information
PIKEWERKS CORP.
105 A Church Street, Madison, AL, 35758
DUNS: 152119025
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Kline
 Research Engineer
 (256) 325-0010
 jonathan.kline@pikewerks.com
Business Contact
 Michael Ring
Title: CFO
Phone: (256) 325-0010
Email: michael.ring@pikewerks.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Pikewerks proposes to research and develop methods to securely load and execute sensitive software modules in a covert manner that cannot easily be defeated by even the most dedicated adversaries. The mechanisms developed will enhance software protection systems by making them more robust against reverse-engineering efforts. Software loading approaches can be divided into pre-boot and post-boot mechanisms. Pre-boot approaches typically include BIOS or boot sector modifications. Post-boot approaches typically include the use of documented OS, user, and kernel driver loading mechanisms as well as undocumented methods such as the exploitation of unpublished vulnerabilities. Pikewerks will focus on pre-boot methods of software loading and covert execution. Research will focus on several different methods of covert software execution, and a prototype will be generated that demonstrates the feasibility of covert loading using either the best method or combination of methods discovered during the research.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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