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Platform-Independent Programs

Teddy Rogers

About This File

Given a single program (i.e., bit string), one may assume that the program's behaviors can be determined by first identifying the native runtime architecture and then executing the program on that architecture. In this paper, we challenge the notion that programs run on a single architecture by developing techniques that automatically create a single program string that a) runs on different architectures, and b) potentially has different behaviors depending upon which architecture it runs on. At a high level, a primary security implication is that any program analysis done on a program must only be considered valid for the assumed architecture. Our techniques also introduce a new type of steganography that hides execution behaviors. In order to demonstrate our techniques, we implement a system for generating platform-independent programs for x86, ARM, and MIPS. We use our system to generate real platform-independent programs.

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