Run-time Monitoring and Formal Analysis of Information Flows in Chromium

Abstract

Web browsers are a key enabler of a wide range of online services, from shopping and email to banking and health services. Because these services frequently involve handling sensitive data, a wide range of web browser security policies and mechanisms has been implemented or proposed to mitigate the dangers posed by malicious code and sites. This paper describes an approach for specifying and enforcing flexible information-flow policies on the Chromium web browser. Complementing efforts that focus on information-flow enforcement on JavaScript, our approach focuses on an existing browser and encompasses a broad range of browser features, from pages and scripts to DOM elements, events, persistent state, and extensions. In our approach, which is a coarse-grained, light-weight implementation of taint tracking, entities in the browser are annotated with information-flow labels that specify policy and track information flows. We develop a detailed formal model of our approach, for which we prove noninterference. We also develop a corresponding prototype system built on top of Chromium. We demonstrate, and experimentally confirm, that the system can enforce many existing browser policies, as well as practically useful policies beyond those enforceable in standard web browsers.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Bauer2015RuntimeMA, title={Run-time Monitoring and Formal Analysis of Information Flows in Chromium}, author={Lujo Bauer and Shaoying Cai and Limin Jia and Timothy Passaro and Michael Stroucken and Yuan Tian}, booktitle={NDSS}, year={2015} }