Vasilis Kemerlis who is currently assistant professor of Computer Science at Brown University, will give a talk on "Secure Operating Systems" on Tuesday, January 9, on the 6th floor (606 room) of the Evelpidon Str. building (graduate program building) of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB)
Talk abstract: Modern operating systems consist of large, monolithic blobs of complex code, and are plagued with vulnerabilities that allow perpetrators to exploit them for profit. This, coupled with the sophistication of modern adversaries, makes the need for effective and targeted defenses more critical than ever. In this talk, I will present our work on developing novel protection mechanisms and exploit prevention techniques that improve the security posture of commodity operating system kernels. In particular, I will discuss kR^X and XPFO, two projects whose goal is to harden contemporary OSes, against attacks that exploit memory safety vulnerabilities in kernel code, without entailing super-privileged software (e.g., a hypervisor or VMM). In addition, I will talk about ret2dir, a new kernel exploitation technique that we developed, which unveils how standard OS design approaches can significantly weaken the effectiveness of deployed, state of-the-art kernel defenses.