Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security

Fault-Tolerant Method Used for Security Purposes in New Framework

A young company has a new patent for using fault tolerance techniques to protect against malware infection in applications.

How do you really know that an application has not been compromised? A newly patented technology is based on the premise that because you know precisely what every thread and API call are supposed to do, any divergence is a sign of trouble.

Fault-tolerance has long used multiple identical instances of an application to insure that the application can continue to function even if its hosting server goes offline. Young startup Virtual Software Systems (VS2) has been granted a patent for using that concept as a way of continuously validating application integrity.

Mario Troiana, head of development for VS2, says the company's fault-tolerant framework is called the Intentional Computing Environment (ICE). "ICE is a framework made up of several mechanisms. Collectively, they instantiate multiple replicas of an application with different processes running on different virtual machines," he says.

"It then enforces determinism of each thread of the application, so every time an API call is reached, the threads are compared to make sure they're going to the same destination in a state space," he says.

According to the company, "ICE detects and inhibits unintended application behavior caused by unpredictable events including hardware failures, malicious activity, and countless other faults." That means if there is a point of application behavior that deviates for any reason from what is expected, ICE throws an exception and halts its execution.

There are a number of components to ICE, each handling or responding to a different aspect of application or data behavior, but the entire suite is based on the idea that application behavior is deterministic — that every part of an application will respond in a predictable, known way to any input.

Troiana is quick to point out two critical aspects of the way that ICE works. First, when software is developed, standard API calls must be replaced with ICE calls. This allows the protection software to work when the code is in production. It also means that this is not a solution applicable to off-the-shelf third-party software where the customer has no access to source code.

And VS2 doesn't promote this as a complete, comprehensive security solution: the company sees it as complementary to other components in a total security architecture. 

ICE is currently available as a feature-complete technology assessment release for beta customers.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

 

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
Russian Military Officers Unmasked, Indicted for High-Profile Cyberattack Campaigns
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-24847
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability is identified in FruityWifi through 2.4. Due to a lack of CSRF protection in page_config_adv.php, an unauthenticated attacker can lure the victim to visit his website by social engineering or another attack vector. Due to this issue, an unauthenticat...
CVE-2020-24848
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
FruityWifi through 2.4 has an unsafe Sudo configuration [(ALL : ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL]. This allows an attacker to perform a system-level (root) local privilege escalation, allowing an attacker to gain complete persistent access to the local system.
CVE-2020-5990
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in the ShadowPlay component which may lead to local privilege escalation, code execution, denial of service or information disclosure.
CVE-2020-25483
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
An arbitrary command execution vulnerability exists in the fopen() function of file writes of UCMS v1.4.8, where an attacker can gain access to the server.
CVE-2020-5977
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in NVIDIA Web Helper NodeJS Web Server in which an uncontrolled search path is used to load a node module, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, escalation of privileges, and information disclosure.