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Stealing Webpages Rendered on Your Browser by Exploiting GPU Vulnerabilities

Sangho Lee, Youngsok Kim, Jangwoo Kim, Jong Kim
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, POSTECH, Korea
35th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland 2014), 2014
@article{lee2014stealing,

   title={Stealing Webpages Rendered on Your Browser by Exploiting GPU Vulnerabilities},

   author={Lee, Sangho and Kim, Youngsok and Kim, Jangwoo and Kim, Jong},

   year={2014}

}

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Graphics processing units (GPUs) are important components of modern computing devices for not only graphics rendering, but also efficient parallel computations. However, their security problems are ignored despite their importance and popularity. In this paper, we first perform an in-depth security analysis on GPUs to detect security vulnerabilities. We observe that contemporary, widely-used GPUs, both NVIDIA’s and AMD’s, do not initialize newly allocated GPU memory pages which may contain sensitive user data. By exploiting such vulnerabilities, we propose attack methods for revealing a victim program’s data kept in GPU memory both during its execution and right after its termination. We further show the high applicability of the proposed attacks by applying them to the Chromium and Firefox web browsers which use GPUs for accelerating webpage rendering. We detect that both browsers leave rendered webpage textures in GPU memory, so that we can infer which webpages a victim user has visited by analyzing the remaining textures. The accuracy of our advanced inference attack that uses both pixel sequence matching and RGB histogram matching is up to 95.4%.
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