Hijacking the Linux Kernel

Authors Boris Prochazka, Tomas Vojnar, Martin Drahansky

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Boris Prochazka
Tomas Vojnar
Martin Drahansky

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Boris Prochazka, Tomas Vojnar, and Martin Drahansky. Hijacking the Linux Kernel. In Sixth Doctoral Workshop on Mathematical and Engineering Methods in Computer Science (MEMICS'10) -- Selected Papers. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 16, pp. 85-92, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2011)


In this paper, a new method of hijacking the Linux kernel is presented. It is based on analysing the Linux system call handler, where a proper set of instructions is subsequently replaced by a jump to a different function. The ability to change the execution flow in the middle of an existing function represents a unique approach in Linux kernel hacking. The attack is applicable to all kernels from the 2.6 series on the Intel architecture. Due to this, rootkits based on this kind of technique represent a high risk for Linux administrators.
  • Linux kernel hacking
  • rootkit


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