Towards Non-Intrusive Software Introspection and Beyond

April 24, 2020

Continuous verification and security analysis of software systems are of paramount importance to many organizations. The state-of-the-art for such operations implements agent-based approaches to inspect the provisioned software stack for security and compliance issues. However, this approach, which runs agents on the systems being analyzed, is vulnerable to some attacks, can incur substantial performance impact, and can introduce significant complexity. In this paper, we present the design and prototype implementation of a general-purpose approach for Non-intrusive Software Introspection (NSI). By adhering to NSI, organizations hosting in the cloud can as well control the software introspection workflow with reduced trust in the provider. Experimental analysis of real-world applications demonstrates that NSI presents a lightweight and scalable approach, and has a negligible impact on the performance of applications running on the instance being introspected.

View submitted article.

Associated Research Projects