Press Release

MWR to Demonstrate the Latest OS Kernel Fuzzer at DefCon


Session to include a number of previously undisclosed Windows vulnerabilities

James Loureiro and Georgi Geshev, both Security Researchers at MWR InfoSecurity, will be showcasing its latest platform agnostic kernel fuzzer during a session at DefCon, LasVegas. The unique tool has been used to investigate a number of operating systems and the session will include a brief summary of the vulnerabilities that have been identified, including a number in Windows 7 – the most widely deployed operation system with 49% market share.

Speaking about the need for MWR’s OS agnostic fuzzer, James explains, “Kernels are considered weak spots for attackers wishing to escalate privileges on a host. As an example sandboxes that are now shipped as default in the major browsers, block an ability for an attacker to interact with the host system and to escalate privileges. The issue is that kernel exploits can break out of the sandboxed environment, allowing an attacker unrestricted access to the host machine. While a number of toolsets exist that propose methods for identifying vulnerabilities in kernels, in particular POSIX kernels, none offer a method for generic fuzzing across Windows and POSIX kernels.”

MWR’s OS Agnostic Fuzzer, developed by James and Georgi, quickly and efficiently identifies vulnerabilities in Kernels. The team’s research has primarily focused on Windows, but has been successfully ported to run on both Linux and Mac. This unique fuzzer allows vendors, and the security community, to identify and report vulnerabilities, lowering the attack surface and further securing all current operating systems deployed across enterprises.

Speaking about the DefCon session Georgi adds, “Our presentation will outline our research to find exploitable bugs across both Windows and POSIX kernels. We’ll focus on fuzzing system calls, briefly explaining how they work and how these can be fuzzed in order to find bugs, and will then move on to explain core libraries in the Windows environment and how we’ve been able to fuzz these effectively. We’ll also cover issues with creating a kernel fuzzing environment, such as effective logging of calls in which the machine could BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) and kernel panic, as well as how we’ve been able to correctly reproduce vulnerabilities that have been identified by the fuzzer. We will also cover efficient scaling of a kernel fuzzer so that a number of virtual machines are in operation that can generate a large number of crashes. We’ll offer a brief summary of the vulnerabilities that have been identified.”

James and Georgi’s session, titled Platform Agnostic Kernel Fuzzing, is at 3pm (PDT) on Sunday 7 August at DefCon Las Vegas as part of ‘Track Three’.




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