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Publication Detail
CHERI: A Hybrid Capability-System Architecture for Scalable Software Compartmentalization
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Watson RNM, Woodruff J, Neumann PG, Moore SW, Anderson J, Chisnall D, Dave N, Davis B, Gudka K, Laurie B, Murdoch SJ, Norton R, Roe M, Son S, Vadera M
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    20, 37
  • Editors:
    Bauer L,Shmatikov V
  • Name of conference:
    IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
  • Conference place:
    San Jose, CA, USA
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Print ISSN:
CHERI extends a conventional RISC Instruction-Set Architecture, compiler, and operating system to support fine-grained, capability-based memory protection to mitigate memory-related vulnerabilities in C-language TCBs. We describe how CHERI capabilities can also underpin a hardware-software object-capability model for application compartmentalization that can mitigate broader classes of attack. Prototyped as an extension to the open-source 64-bit BERI RISC FPGA soft-core processor, Free BSD operating system, and LLVM compiler, we demonstrate multiple orders-of-magnitude improvement in scalability, simplified programmability, and resulting tangible security benefits as compared to compartmentalization based on pure Memory-Management Unit (MMU) designs. We evaluate incrementally deployable CHERI-based compartmentalization using several real-world UNIX libraries and applications.
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