Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Barry E. Mullins, PhD


This thesis examines techniques to automate configuration of an intrusion detection system utilizing hardware-assisted virtualization. These techniques are used to detect the version of a running guest operating system, automatically configure version-specific operating system information needed by the introspection library, and to locate and monitor important operating system data structures. This research simplifies introspection library configuration and is a step toward operating system independent introspection. An operating system detection algorithm and Windows virtual machine system service dispatch table monitor are implemented using the Xen hypervisor and a modified version of the XenAccess library. All detection and monitoring is implemented from the Xen management domain. Results of the operating system detection are used to initialize the XenAccess library. Library initialization time and kernel symbol retrieval are compared to the standard library. The algorithm is evaluated using nine versions of the Windows operating system. The system service dispatch table monitor is evaluated using the Agony and ProAgent rootkits. The automation techniques successfully detect the operating system and system service dispatch table hooks for the nine Windows versions tested. The modified XenAccess library exhibits an average initialization speedup of 1.9. Kernel symbol lookup is 10 times faster, on average. The hook detector is able to detect all hooks used by both rookits.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number