Kernel Rootkits Detection Method by Monitoring Branches Using Hardware Features

Toshihiro YAMAUCHI  Yohei AKAO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E100-D   No.10   pp.2377-2381
Publication Date: 2017/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2016INL0003
Type of Manuscript: Special Section LETTER (Special Section on Security, Privacy and Anonymity in Computation, Communication and Storage Systems)
kernel rootkit detection,  last branch record,  operating system,  system security,  

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An operating system is an essential piece of software that manages hardware and software resources. Thus, attacks on an operating system kernel using kernel rootkits pose a particularly serious threat. Detecting an attack is difficult when the operating system kernel is infected with a kernel rootkit. For this reason, handling an attack will be delayed causing an increase in the amount of damage done to a computer system. In this paper, we propose Kernel Rootkits Guard (KRGuard), which is a new method to detect kernel rootkits that monitors branch records in the kernel space. Since many kernel rootkits make branches that differ from the usual branches in the kernel space, KRGuard can detect these differences by using the hardware features of commodity processors. Our evaluation shows that KRGuard can detect kernel rootkits that involve new branches in the system call handler processing with small overhead.