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Cali: Compiler Assisted Library Isolation


Software libraries can freely access the program's entire address space, and also inherit its system-level privileges. This lack of separation regularly leads to security-critical incidents once libraries contain vulnerabilities or turn rogue. We present Cali, a compiler-assisted library isolation system that fully automatically shields a program from a given library. Cali is fully compatible with mainline Linux and does not require supervisor privileges to execute. We compartmentalize libraries into their own process with well-defined security policies. To preserve the functionality of the interactions between program and library, Cali uses a Program Dependence Graph to track data flow between the program and the library during link time. We evaluate our open-source prototype against three popular libraries: Ghostscript, OpenSSL, and SQLite. Cali successfully reduced the amount of memory that is shared between the program and library to 0.08% (ImageMagick) - 0.4% (Socat), while retaining an acceptable program performance.

Conference / Medium

AsiaCCS 2021

Date published


Date last modified

2021-03-05 12:16:31