SLIMalloc, a memory allocator for secure C and C++

At the end of 2022, the NSA published a Guidance document To the attention of developers, we can read “Memory management issues have been exploited for decades and are still very common today. We must continually use memory-safe languages ​​and other safeguards when developing software to eliminate these vulnerabilities to malicious cyber actors.

In 2021, Google underline These memory bugs consistently account for 70% of high-risk vulnerabilities in Android, while also showing that memory security bugs in C and C++ remain the most difficult source of mismatches to resolve. For this reason, Google made the decision to adopt the Rust programming language to develop the operating system itself.

French offers another approach with SLIMalloc, which is a rewrite of the SlimGuard heap allocator. Its designer presents SLIMalloc as being able to block the root causes of 70-90% of all past and future vulnerabilities (in software and in chips and CPUs) and notes that it is the first scalable allocator capable of intercepting and flagging invalid signals in real life. the time.

SLIMalloc is described in two interesting technical documents:

SLIMalloc: A safer, faster, and more capable stack allocator

SLIMalloc II: making C safer than “memory-safe” languages

The capture below is from the second document:

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