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Author Topic: Software... Heal thyself!  (Read 2236 times)

Edvard

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Software... Heal thyself!
« on: November 01, 2010, 10:07:22 AM »
It's kinda old news, but interesting nonetheless:
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Software That Fixes Itself
A new tool aims to fix misbehaving programs without shutting them down.



from: I don't know... I was looking for Robot Simulators 0_0

Renegade

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Re: Software... Heal thyself!
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 10:16:28 AM »
That is very cool!

On the not-so-nice side, it may run into problems with violating licenses for changing binaries. Not sure about that. It shouldn't be a problem though.

It would be very neat to have that as an add-in component for your software to let you know about errors, fix them, and get you the solution for them for the next release. :)
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app103

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Re: Software... Heal thyself!
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 10:30:35 AM »
I wonder what would happen if you ran an application vanilla and it learned what is "normal", then later installed a plugin that added additional functionality through dll injection. Would this thing patch the exectutable to neutralize any attempts to use those dll injection plugins? I know a whole lot of people that would be mighty angry if it did.

Edvard

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Re: Software... Heal thyself!
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 10:52:31 AM »
...
On the not-so-nice side, it may run into problems with violating licenses for changing binaries. Not sure about that. It shouldn't be a problem though.
...
I'm sure the real-world intent is for post-release bugtesting and internal development procedures.
I don't think they want a bunch of average computer users patching random stuff on the fly, thinking they're "fixing" things...  :'(
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...
It would be very neat to have that as an add-in component for your software to let you know about errors, fix them, and get you the solution for them for the next release. :)
Sure, but it would probably be safer and more useful to use the underlying routines to find and report bugs at runtime, rather than patching the binary for the end user, which I think is a recipe for disaster.

I wonder what would happen if you ran an application vanilla and it learned what is "normal", then later installed a plugin that added additional functionality through dll injection. Would this thing patch the exectutable to neutralize any attempts to use those dll injection plugins? I know a whole lot of people that would be mighty angry if it did.
Depends on who's actually using it and what the capabilities of the software are.
If this were strictly a development and forensics tool, I'm sure there would be ways to take in the software 'as a whole' when plugins are present.
I imagine it could probably even detect problems within the injection procedures themselves.
Of course, I really don't think it would be a good idea to sell or release such a thing as an end-user type of "repair" tool.
Oh, the horror!!  :o

Still, I wonder why folks who make developer tools haven't picked up on this?
It'd be worth the extra money they'd charge for developing it, and having such a tool also able to run in source instead of just after the fact on a binary would be immensely useful.
Seems to me like Microsoft devs might also have an easier time of it if they set up a whole roomful of these things pecking away at various Windows components...

f0dder

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Re: Software... Heal thyself!
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 12:22:17 PM »
Interesting idea, but I'm not sure it's something that should be running on end-user's computers. And just how does it detect exploits? The article keeps mentioning crashes... a successful exploit doesn't crash the app it's taking over.

Seems to me like Microsoft devs might also have an easier time of it if they set up a whole roomful of these things pecking away at various Windows components...
Microsoft are already doing a lot of interesting things security-wise, but Windows is a doyc-damn huge beast... and there's a lot of different ways to exploit software.
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« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 12:23:51 PM by f0dder »

Edvard

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Re: Software... Heal thyself!
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2010, 03:24:11 PM »
Interesting idea, but I'm not sure it's something that should be running on end-user's computers.
I TOTALLY agree. *shivers*

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...
And just how does it detect exploits? The article keeps mentioning crashes... a successful exploit doesn't crash the app it's taking over.
Good point.
I think the project in question wasn't designed for that, just outright crashes.
Ninja exploit detection would be a whole 'nother level...

Quote
Seems to me like Microsoft devs might also have an easier time of it if they set up a whole roomful of these things pecking away at various Windows components...
Microsoft are already doing a lot of interesting things security-wise, but Windows is a doyc-damn huge beast... and there's a lot of different ways to exploit software.
True, but if this system is able to crack showstopper bugs on the order of minutes to hours, a lot of stuff could be cranked through fairly efficiently.
But like you said, it doesn't mention stealth exploits, just crashes. :-\
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 03:25:54 PM by Edvard »