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How to Defend from ROP Attacks?

Henry Hillford




What is a ROP Attack?

This attack was first introduced by Hovav Shacham, a profession of Stanford University in the academic paper. In his paper, he speaks on the new return of hacker techniques that “Don’t need arbitrary computation and aren’t straight-line-limited) and don’t need calling factions to work either.

Return oriented programming has been used as a security exploit technique. Hackers would gain access to a system through the use of code singing and executable space protection. It’s a technique that allows the attacker to take control flow over your computer and are in your computer’s memory. They can be difficult to remove without the help of an established coder.

This means that a return oriented programming (ROP) attack is able to make arbitrary computation which makes the victim’s computer act on the hacker’s intuition. This means that they can have access towards your files, secret passwords, and other data that you don’t want to be compromised.

But, there are ways to protect yourself from a rop exploit. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how!

Read Also: Cyber Security Checklist: 4 Steps to Follow

ROP Exploit Defense

You will have to use some code on a ROP chain in order to prevent the attack.If you want to protect your app’s software from ROP attacks, you have to protect the system from calls that are attempting to take and change your memory attributes.

For instance, here’s a basic example of protecting your computer from a ROP chain attack.


You can use the G-Free technique which is a practical solution that protects your computer from a return oriented programming attack. It eliminates the free-branch instructions that eliminate the free-branch instructions (instructions such as CALL or RET which hackers use to change the control flow of your program.


There is also a coding method that you can do to protect your computer from a ROP exploit. It might be more difficult than using G-Free, but its still easily achieved with some development skills.

Here is an example of a call in which the ROP chain bypass its DEP protection. It has to do this to ensure that the computer is safe. For these purposes, we can use an API injection in processes that you want to protect. This screenshot explain the code you’ll need to stop future ROP exploits:

Placing this function will help stop the ROP attack from contaminating your computer. If this problem does occur, and you’re unable to code it, you should look for professional assistance to solve the problem.

What’s Next?

For the time being, the most used ROP defenses still provide protection, especially in less advanced and dangerous exploits, or when writing and reading memory might be impossible to obtain. However, its end is apparent, and a and something the security and IT community must acknowledge.

The future generation of ROP exploits defense must be used to detect and stop exploitation patterns during their early stages and keep the defense maintained to block attackers from the network effectively.

This is a great time for software vendors to make changes to stop the impact of these vulnerabilities. While ROP and defense software for it might be hard to find and is aging, there are a lot of opportunities for developers to make an effective and new solution to this problem.

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