About two months ago (April 15th 2015) I visited Miami and presented at the INFILTRATE Security Conference a talk on Firefox heap exploitation, titled “OR’LYEH? The Shadow over Firefox”. The organization of the conference was flawless and the people I met there were amazing. A special thank you to the Immunity team for being great hosts and for their helpful feedback.
CENSUS researcher Patroklos Argyroudis has recently presented a talk on heap exploitation abstraction at two conferences, namely ZeroNights 2014 (Moscow, Russia) and BalCCon 2014 (Novi Sad, Serbia). In the talk titled “Project Heapbleed”, Patroklos has collected the experience of exploiting allocators in various different target applications and platforms. He focused on practical, reusable heap attack primitives that aim to reduce the exploit development time and effort.
This year’s OWASP AppSec Research conference took place in Athens, Greece and we were planning to be there as participants. However, the day before the conference, Konstantinos Papapanagiotou (General Chair) asked if we could do a presentation to replace a cancelled talk. Myself and Chariton Karamitas agreed to help and spend around three hours preparing a talk on heap exploitation abstraction, a subject dear to us.
In anticipation of Dan Rosenberg’s talk on exploiting the Linux kernel’s SLOB memory allocator at the Infiltrate security conference and because I recently had a discussion with some friends about the different kernel memory allocators in Linux, I decided to write this quick introduction. I will present some of the allocators’ characteristics and also provide references to public work on exploitation techniques.