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Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 13:52:07 -0500
From: Daniel Micay <danielmicay@...il.com>
To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Re: Re: Fwd: x86 ROP mitigation

Is that really the right approach vs. preventing hijacking of flow
control via return pointers and function pointers? It doesn't really
seem like there's an end game in mind where it actually prevents ROP
rather than just removing many useful gadgets. Making useful ROP gadgets
harder to find doesn't mean much, since tools are used to find them and
the tools can be improved if it becomes necessary.

i.e. why not just go with something like PaX's RAP

(things like CPI/SafeStack could work too, but SafeStack requires
hardware support that's not available on x86_64 and ARM yet)

Preventing ROP by preventing hijacking of flow control in the first
place isn't as good as outright preventing memory corruption (i.e. the
bugs are still exploitable in many cases) but at least it wipes out a
form of exploitation entirely and forces techniques that are not always
going to accomplish everything that's desired. Chipping away at gadgets
doesn't do that unless they're entirely gone, and it's hard to see how
that could happen without higher performance costs than simply doing
full memory safety (not like ASAN, but rather with GC).


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