Preventing IPC-facilitated type confusion in Rust
Author(s)Switzer, Jennifer F.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Howard Shrobe, Hamed Okhravi, and Nathan Burow.
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Type-safe languages undertake to prevent the type confusion vulnerabilities that arise in type-unsafe languages such as C++. One such type-safe language is Rust, which provides powerful type safety guarantees . However, these guarantees are valid only for a single compilation unit. That is, they may not hold when multiple separately compiled processes communicate. In this work, we explore how type confusion vulnerabilities can still arise when multiple separately compiled, internally type-safe processes share information through inter-process communication (IPC). We propose safeIPC, a tool for eliminating IPC-facilitated type confusion in Rust. safeIPC is a Rust compiler extension that detects communications over IPC and inserts runtime checks to ensure that type safety is maintained. Programs instrumented with safeIPC throw a runtime error if the type of any data received over IPC is not equivalent to the type expected. Our analysis shows that safeIPC is effective in preventing type confusion vulnerabilities not prevented by Rust alone.
Thesis: M. Eng., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, May, 2020Cataloged from student-submitted PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 55-60).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.