Press Release

MWR Develops OS Kernel Fuzzer


MWR InfoSecurity has today confirmed it has developed a new kernel fuzzer implemented to run across Microsoft Windows and POSIX based operating systems.

MWR’s kernel fuzzer allows the security community to identify and report vulnerabilities quickly and efficiently, lowering the attack surface and further securing all current operating systems deployed across enterprises.

Speaking about the need for MWR’s OS agnostic fuzzer, James Loureiro – Security Researcher at MWR InfoSecurity said, “As the most fundamental part of an operating system, kernels are often targeted by attackers, particularly when attempting to escalate privileges. Recognizing this, sandboxes are now widely shipped by default in major browsers. This technology helps to prevent attackers from escalating their privileges should they compromise the browser.

Kernel exploits can potentially be leveraged to break out of the sandboxed environment, giving an attacker unrestricted access to the host machine. While there are other toolsets that look for kernel vulnerabilities, they’re limited by operating system. MWR’s kernel fuzzer is platform agnostic, working across Windows and POSIX kernels to find vulnerabilities. Any vulnerabilities identified by MWR are reported to the affected vendors to improve the operating system’s security.”

Eliminating operating system vulnerabilities is the end goal - but it’s an ongoing challenge. MWR’s kernel fuzzer helps to address this by generating test cases in search of potentially exploitable vulnerabilities in the operating system.

The kernel fuzzer is designed to be highly distributed allowing quick identification of vulnerabilities.

Georgi Geshev, a Security Researcher with MWR added, “Using the fuzzer, we’ve been able to identify a number of critical vulnerabilities - particularly in Windows 7. We will be working with the affected vendors to help them address these issues under our responsible disclosure policy so patches can be developed and released to the public.”

The core framework plus Windows examples can be found here.

Slides from James and Georgi's presentation at Def Con 24 can be found here.




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