2012 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (2010)

Berkeley, California, USA

May 16, 2010 to May 19, 2010

ISSN: 1081-6011

ISBN: 978-0-7695-4035-1

pp: 365-379

DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/SP.2010.29

ABSTRACT

The security of systems such as operating systems, hypervisors, and web browsers depend critically on reference monitors to correctly enforce their desired security policy in the presence of adversaries. Recent progress in developing reference monitors with small code size and narrow interfaces has made automated formal verification of reference monitors a more tractable goal. However, a significant remaining factor for the complexity of automated verification is the size of the data structures (e.g., access control matrices) over which the programs operate. This paper develops a parametric verification technique that scales even when reference monitors and adversaries operate over unbounded, but finite data structures. Specifically, we develop a parametric guarded command language for modeling reference monitors and adversaries. We also present a parametric temporal specification logic for expressing security policies that the monitor is expected to enforce. The central technical results of the paper are a set of small model theorems. These theorems state that in order to verify that a policy is enforced by a reference monitor with an arbitrarily large data structure, it is sufficient to model check the monitor with just one entry in its data structure. We apply our methodology to verify the designs of two hypervisors, SecVisor and the sHype mandatory-access-control extension to Xen. Our approach is able to prove that sHype and a variant of the original SecVisor design correctly enforces the expected security properties in the presence of powerful adversaries.

INDEX TERMS

security, parametric verification, model checking, small model theorem, reference monitor, hypervisor, SecVisor

CITATION

Arvind Seshadri,
Anupam Datta,
Jason Franklin,
Sagar Chaki,
"Scalable Parametric Verification of Secure Systems: How to Verify Reference Monitors without Worrying about Data Structure Size",

*2012 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy*, vol. 00, no. , pp. 365-379, 2010, doi:10.1109/SP.2010.29SEARCH