A practical approach for updating an integrity-enforced operating system

01/05/2021
by   Wojciech Ozga, et al.
0

Trusted computing defines how to securely measure, store, and verify the integrity of software controlling a computer. One of the major challenges that make them hard to be applied in practice is the issue with software updates. Specifically, an operating system update causes the integrity violation because it changes the well-known initial state trusted by remote verifiers, such as integrity monitoring systems. Consequently, the integrity monitoring of remote computers becomes unreliable due to the high amount of false positives. We address this problem by adding an extra level of indirection between the operating system and software repositories. We propose a trusted software repository (TSR), a secure proxy that overcomes the shortcomings of previous approaches by sanitizing software packages. Sanitization consists of modifying unsafe installation scripts and adding digital signatures in a way software packages can be installed in the operating system without violating its integrity. TSR leverages shielded execution, i.e., Intel SGX, to achieve confidentiality and integrity guarantees of the sanitization process. TSR is transparent to package managers, and requires no changes in the software packages building and distributing processes. Our evaluation shows that running TSR inside SGX is practical; since it induces only  1.18X performance overhead during package sanitization compared to the native execution without SGX. TSR supports 99.76 Alpine Linux while increasing the total repository size by 3.6

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