Lightweight Self-Protecting JavaScript
Paper in proceeding, 2009

This paper introduces a method to control JavaScript execution. The aim is to prevent or modify inappropriate behaviour caused by e.g. malicious injected scripts or poorly designed third-party code. The approach is based on modifying the code so as to make it self-protecting: the protection mechanism (security policy) is embedded into the code itself and intercepts security relevant API calls. The challenges come from the nature of the JavaScript language: any variables in the scope of the program can be redefined, and code can be created and run on-the-fly. This creates potential problems, respectively, for tamper-proofing the protection mechanism, and for ensuring that no security relevant events bypass the protection. Unlike previous approaches to instrument and monitor JavaScript to enforce or adjust behaviour, the solution we propose is lightweight in that (i) it does not require a modified browser, and (ii) it does not require any run-time parsing and transformation of code (including dynamically generated code). As a result, the method has low run-time overhead compared to other methods satisfying (i), and the lack of need for browser modifications means that the policy can even be applied on the server to mitigate some effects of cross-site scripting bugs.

Language Based Security

Inlined Reference Monitors


Phu Phung

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering and Technology (Chalmers)

David Sands

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Computing Science (Chalmers)

Andrey Chudnov

Stevens Institute of Technology

Proceedings of ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS 2009)

978-1-60558-394-5 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Software Engineering

Computer Science





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