Dartmouth College Computer Science
Technical Report series
TR search TR listserv
|By author:||A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
|By number:||2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986|
Despite advances in software modularity, security, and reliability, offline patching remains the predominant form of updating or protecting commodity software. Unfortunately, the mechanics of hot patching (the process of upgrading a program while it executes) remain understudied, even though such a capability offers practical benefits for both consumer and mission-critical systems.
A reliable hot patching procedure would serve particularly well by reducing the downtime necessary for critical functionality or security upgrades. Yet, hot patching also carries the risk -- real or perceived -- of leaving the system in an inconsistent state, which leads many owners to forego its benefits as too risky.
In this paper, we propose a novel method for hot patching ELF binaries that supports (a) synchronized global data and code updates and (b) reasoning about the results of applying the hot patch. We propose a format, which we call a Patch Object, for encoding patches as a special type of ELF relocatable object file. Our tool, Katana, automatically creates these patch objects as a by-product of the standard source build process. Katana also allows an end-user to apply the Patch Objects to a running process. In essence, our method can be viewed as an extension of the Application Binary Interface (ABI), and we argue for its inclusion in future ABI standards.
Bibliographic citation for this report: [plain text] [BIB] [BibTeX] [Refer]
Or copy and paste:
Ashwin Ramaswamy, Sergey Bratus, Michael E. Locasto, and Sean W. Smith, "Katana: A Hot Patching Framework for ELF Executables." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2009-657, September 2009.
Notify me about new tech reports.
Search the technical reports.
To receive paper copy of a report, by mail, send your address and the TR number to reports AT cs.dartmouth.edu
Copyright notice: The documents contained in this server are included by the contributing authors as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.
Technical reports collection maintained by David Kotz.