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The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Jonathan Millen - Mitre

"Covert Channels"

Jan 30, 1997

Abstract

A Trojan horse might attempt to send sensitive information belonging to its user to whoever wrote or planted the program. In most systems this is easy because a program runs with the privileges of its user. Systems with "mandatory" access controls make the attacker's job harder because they prevent obvious subversions such as copying files or sending messages to unauthorized parties. However, it is usually possible to bypass those controls by leaking information one bit at a time through shared operating system resources, sometimes at tens or hundreds of bits per second. This talk gives some examples of covert channels and discusses the problem of detecting them and estimating leakage rates.


About the Speaker



Unless otherwise noted, the security seminar is held on Wednesdays at 4:30P.M. STEW G52 (Suite 050B), West Lafayette Campus. More information...

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