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The Taint Rabbit: Optimizing Generic Taint Analysis with Dynamic Fast Path Generation

John Galea

Generic taint analysis is a pivotal technique in software security but suffers from staggeringly high overhead.  In this paper, we explore the hypothesis whether just-in-time (JIT) generation of fast paths for tracking taint can enhance the performance.To this end, we present the Taint Rabbit, which supports highly customizable user-defined taint policies and combines a JIT with fast context switching.  Our experimental results suggest that this combination outperforms notable existing implementations of generic taint analysis. For instance, Dytan incurs an average overhead of 237x, while the Taint Rabbit achieves 1.7x on the same set of benchmarks.

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