Ghost Patches: Faux Patches for Faux Vulnerabilities [62A-3F4]
Jeffrey Avery, Eugene Spafford
Offensive and defensive players in the cyber security sphere constantly react to either party’s actions. This reactive approach works well for attackers but can be devastating for defenders. This approach also models the software security patching lifecycle. Patches fix security flaws, but when deployed, can be used to develop malicious exploits. To make exploit generation using patches more resource intensive, we propose inserting deception into software security patches. These ghost patches mislead attackers with deception and fix legitimate flaws in code. An adversary using ghost patches to develop exploits will be forced to use additional resources. We implement a proof of concept for ghost patches and evaluate their impact on program analysis and runtime. We find that these patches have a statistically significant impact on dynamic analysis runtime, increasing time to analyze by a factor of up to 14x, but do not have a statistically significant impact on program runtime.