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Proceedings Paper

Rootkits and the OS friendly microprocessor architecture
Author(s): Patrick Jungwirth; Thomas Barnett Jr.; Abdel-Hameed Badawy
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Paper Abstract

We examine how the hardware level security features in the OS Friendly Microprocessor Architecture improves cybersecurity against a rootkit attack. A rootkit (root + kit) is a malicious program or tool -“kit” of programs designed to obtain “root” level privileges (root for Unix, admin for Windows). Rootkits operate at the same security ring level as an operating system. This gives rootkits access to kernel level data structures. Even with state-of-the-art security technologies, it is very difficult to detect a rootkit. Rootkits have been used for digital rights management and copy protection; however, the 2005 CD copy protection scandal illustrates how poor computer security can leave an open door for other malware. We present a security model of the OS Friendly Microprocessor Architecture and we present a short introduction to rootkits. For this paper, we will focus on OS-kernel level rootkits. We will illustrate how the hardware security features of the OS Friendly Microprocessor Architecture increases the difficulty for rootkit malware to compromise a computer system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2017
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 10185, Cyber Sensing 2017, 1018503 (1 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2258235
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Jungwirth, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Thomas Barnett Jr., U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (United States)
Abdel-Hameed Badawy, New Mexico State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10185:
Cyber Sensing 2017
Igor V. Ternovskiy; Peter Chin, Editor(s)

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