App Shield Programming Guide

App Shield Programming Guide (PDF)

NVIDIA DOCA App Shield Programming Guide

This document provides instructions on using the DOCA App Shield API.

DOCA App Shield API offers a solution for strong intrusion detection capabilities using the DPU services to collect and analyze data from the host's (or a VM on the host) memory in real time. This solution provides intrusion detection and forensics investigation in a way that is:

  • Robust against attacks on a host machine
  • Able to detect a wide range of attacks (including zero-day attacks)
  • Least disruptive to the execution of host application (where current detection solutions hinder the performance of host applications)
  • Transparent to the host, such that the host does not need to install anything (other than providing some files obtained from the doca_apsh_config.py tool)

App Shield uses a DMA device to access the host's memory and analyze it. It also uses a RegEx device to scan the host's memory for regular expressions and signatures.

The App Shield API provides multiple functions that help with gathering data extracted from system's memory (e.g., processes list, modules list, connections). This data helps with detecting attacks on critical services or processes in a system (e.g., services that enforce integrity or privacy of the execution of different applications).

  1. Make sure to run App Shield from the DPU as a root user.
  2. If you are adding a RegEx device to App Shield, make sure to meet DOCA RegEx requirements which can be found in the NVIDIA DOCA RegEx Programming Guide.

The library requires firmware version 24.32.1010 or higher.

For the library API reference, refer to the DOCA APSH API documentation in the NVIDIA DOCA Libraries API Reference Manual.

Note:

The pkg-config (*.pc file) for the APSH library is included in DOCA's regular definitions (i.e., doca).

The following sections provide additional details about the library API.

4.1. doca_apsh_dma_dev_set

To attach a DOCA DMA device to App Shield, calling this function is mandatory and must be done before calling doca_apsh_start.

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doca_apsh_dma_dev_set(doca_apsh_ctx, doca_dev)


Where:

  • doca_apsh_ctx [in] – App Shield opaque context struct
  • doca_dev [in] – struct for DOCA device with DMA capabilities

4.2. doca_apsh_regex_dev_set

To attach a RegEx DOCA device to App Shield, calling this function is not mandatory (unless the user wants to use the netscan capability). If the user wants to call the function, it must be done before calling doca_apsh_start.

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doca_apsh_regex_dev_set(doca_apsh_ctx, doca_dev)


Where:

  • doca_apsh_ctx [in] – App Shield opaque context struct
  • doca_dev [in] – struct for DOCA Device with RegEx capabilities

4.3. Capabilities Per System

For each initialized system, App Shield retrieves an array of the requested object according to the getter's name:
Function Name Functions Information Functions Signature Return Type
Get modules Returns an array with information about the system modules (drivers) loaded into the kernel of the OS.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_modules_get(struct doca_apsh_system *system, struct doca_apsh_module ***modules, int *modules_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_module
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get processes Returns an array with information about each process running on the system.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_processes_get(struct doca_apsh_system *system, struct doca_apsh_procces ***processes, int *processes_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_process
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get library For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each library loaded into this process.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_libs_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_lib ***libs, int *libs_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_lib
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get threads For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each thread running within this process.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_threads_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_thread ***threads, int *threads_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_thread
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get virtual memory areas/virtual address description For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each virtual memory area within this process.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_vads_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_vad ***vads, int *vads_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_vma
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get privileges For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each possible privilege for this process, as described here.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_privileges_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_privilege ***privileges, int *privileges_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_privilege
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get environment variables

For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each environment variable within this process.

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doca_error_t doca_apsh_envars_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_envar ***envars, int *envars_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_envar
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get handles For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each handle this process holds.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_handles_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_handle ***handles, int *handles_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_handle
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get LDR modules For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each loaded module within this process.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_ldrmodules_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_ldrmodule ***ldrmodules, int *ldrmodules_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_ldrmodule
  • int: Size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Process attestation For a specified process, this function attests the memory pages of the process according to a precomputed golden hash file given as an input.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_attestation_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, const char *exec_hash_map_path, struct doca_apsh_attestation ***attestation, int * attestation_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_attestation
  • int – size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Attestation refresh Refreshes a single attestation handler of a process with a new snapshot.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_attst_refresh(struct doca_apsh_attestation ***attestation, int * attestation_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_attestation
  • int – size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get NetScan This function scans the system's physical memory and returns an array with information about each socket that resides in the memory.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_netscan_get(struct doca_apsh_system *system, struct doca_apsh_netscan ***connections, int *connections_size);

  • Array of struct doca_apsh_netscan
  • int – size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Get process parameters For a specified process, this function returns a struct object (not an array) with information about the process' parameters (ones not included in the "get processes" capability).
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_process_parameters_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_process_parameters **process_parameters);

  • An object of struct doca_apsh_process_paramters
  • doca_error status
Get SIDs For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each SID (security identifier) included in the process's security context.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_sids_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, struct doca_apsh_sid ***sids, int *sids_size);

  • An object of struct doca_apsh_sid
  • int – size of the returned array
  • doca_error status
Perform Yara scan For a specified process, this function returns an array with information about each Yara rule match found in the process' memory.
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doca_error_t doca_apsh_yara_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, enum doca_apsh_yara_rule *yara_rules_arr, uint32_t yara_rules_arr_size, uint64_t scan_type, struct doca_apsh_yara ***yara_matches, int *yara_matches_size);

 

The following attribute getters return a specific attribute of an object, obtained from the array returned from the getter functions listed above, depending on the requested attribute:
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doca_apsh_process_info_get(struct doca_apsh_proccess *process, enum doca_apsh_process_attr attr); doca_apsh_module_info_get(struct doca_apsh_module *module, enum doca_apsh_module_attr attr); doca_apsh_lib_info_get(struct doca_apsh_lib *lib, enum doca_apsh_lib_attr attr); doca_apsh_thread_info_get(struct doca_apsh_thread *thread, enum doca_apsh_lib_attr attr); doca_apsh_vad_info_get(struct doca_apsh_vad *vad, enum doca_apsh_vad_attr attr); doca_apsh_privilege_info_get(struct doca_apsh_privilege *privilege, enum doca_apsh_privilege_attr attr); doca_apsh_envar_info_get(struct doca_apsh_envar *envar, enum doca_apsh_envar_attr attr); doca_apsh_handle_info_get(struct doca_apsh_handle *handle, enum doca_apsh_handle_attr attr); doca_apsh_ldrmodule_info_get(struct doca_apsh_ldrmodule *ldrmodule, enum doca_apsh_ldrmodule_attr attr); doca_apsh_attst_info_get(struct doca_apsh_attestation *attestation, enum doca_apsh_attestation_attr attr); doca_apsh_netscan_info_get(struct doca_apsh_netscan *connection, enum doca_apsh_netscan_attr attr) doca_apsh_process_parameters_info_get(struct doca_apsh_process_parameters *process_parameters, enum doca_apsh_process_parameters_attr attr); doca_apsh_sid_info_get(struct doca_apsh_sid *sid, enum doca_apsh_sid_attr attr); doca_error_t doca_apsh_yara_get(struct doca_apsh_process *process, enum doca_apsh_yara_rule *yara_rules_arr, uint32_t yara_rules_arr_size, uint64_t scan_type, struct doca_apsh_yara ***yara_matches, int *yara_matches_size);


The return type of the attribute getter can be found in doca_apsh_attr.h. Usage example:

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const uint pid = doca_apsh_process_info_get(processes[i], DOCA_APSH_PROCESS_PID); const char *proc_name = doca_apsh_process_info_get(processes[i], DOCA_APSH_PROCESS_COMM);

There are different structures in App Shield that must be used for a BlueField client to be able to introspect into a system running on the host side, whether it is a bare-metal machine or a virtual machine.

5.1. doca_apsh_ctx

doca_apsh_ctx is the basic struct used by App Shield which defines the DMA and RegEx devices used to perform the memory forensics techniques required to run App Shield.

Note:

The same doca_apsh_ctx struct may be used to run multiple App Shield instances over different systems (e.g., two different VMs on the host).

  1. To acquire an instance of the doca_apsh_ctx struct, use the following function:
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    struct doca_apsh_ctx *doca_apsh_create(void);

  2. To configure the doca_apsh_ctx instance with DMA and RegEx (optional) devices to use:
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    doca_error_t doca_apsh_dma_dev_set(struct doca_apsh_ctx *ctx, struct doca_dev *dma_dev); doca_error_t doca_apsh_regex_dev_set(struct doca_apsh_ctx *ctx, struct doca_dev *regex_dev);

    Note:

    Setting a RegEx device is only mandatory if the user wants to use the Netscan capability.

  3. To start the doca_apsh_ctx instance, call the following function:
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    doca_error_t doca_apsh_start(struct doca_apsh_ctx *ctx);

  4. To destroy the doca_apsh_ctx instance when it is no longer needed, call:
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    void doca_apsh_destroy(struct doca_apsh_ctx *ctx);

5.2. doca_apsh_system

The doca_apsh_system struct is built on the doca_apsh_ctx instance. This struct is created per system running App Shield. doca_apsh_system defines multiple attributes used by App Shield to perform memory analysis over the specific system successfully.

  1. To acquire an instance of the doca_apsh_system struct, use the following function:
  2. To configure different attributes for the system instance:
    • OS type – specifies the system's OS type.
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      doca_error_t doca_apsh_sys_os_type_set(struct doca_apsh_system *ctx, enum doca_apsh_system_os os_type);

      Note:

      Currently supported types: Windows or Linux.

    • System representor – specifies the representor of the device connected to the system for App Shield to run on (which can be a representor of VF/PF). For information on querying the DOCA device, refer to the NVIDIA DOCA Core Programming Guide. After acquiring the DOCA device, use the following function to configure it into the system instance:
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      doca_error_t doca_apsh_sys_dev_set(struct doca_apsh_system *system, struct doca_dev_rep *dev);


    • System symbols map – includes information about the OS that App Shield is attempting to run on (e.g., Window 10 Build 18363) and the size and fields of the OS structures, which helps App Shield with the memory forensic techniques it uses to access and analyze these structures in the system's memory. This can be obtained by running the doca_apsh_config.py on the system machine. After obtaining it, run:
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      doca_error_t doca_apsh_sys_os_symbol_map_set(struct doca_apsh_system *system, const char *system_os_symbol_map_path);


    • Memory regions – includes the physical addresses of the memory regions which are mapped for system memory RAM. This is needed to prevent App Shield from accessing other memory regions, such as memory mapped I/O regions. This can be obtained by running the doca_apsh_config.py tool on the system machine. After obtaining it, run:
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      doca_error_t doca_apsh_sys_mem_region_set(struct doca_apsh_system *system, const char *system_mem_region_path);


    • KPGD file (optional and relevant only for Linux OS) – contains the KPGD physical address and the virtual address of init_task. This information is required since App Shield extracts data from the kernel struct in the physical memory. Thus, the kernel page directory table must translate the virtual addresses of these structs. This can be obtained by running the doca_apsh_config.py tool on the system machine with the flag find_kpgd=1. Since setting this attribute is optional, App Shield can work without it, but providing it speeds up App Shield's initialization process. After obtaining it, run:
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      doca_error_t doca_apsh_sys_kpgd_file_set(struct doca_apsh_system *system, const char *system_kpgd_file_path);


  3. To start the doca_apsh_system:
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    doca_error_t doca_apsh_system_start(struct doca_apsh_system *system);

  4. To destroy the doca_apsh_system instance when it is no longer needed, call:
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    void doca_apsh_system_destroy(struct doca_apsh_system *system);

5.3. doca_apsh_config.py Tool

The doca_apsh_config.py tool is a python3 script which can be used to obtain all the attributes needed to run doca_apsh_system instance.

The following parameters are necessary to use the tool:

Parameter Description
pid (optional) The process ID of the process we want to run attestation capability on
os (mandatory) The OS type of the machine (i.e., Linux or Windows)
find_kpgd (optional) Relevant for Linux OS only, AS flag to enable/disable creating kpgd_file.conf. Default 0.
files (mandatory) A list of files for the tool to create. File options: hash, symbols, memregions, kpgd_file (only relevant for Linux).
path (mandatory)
  • Linux – path to the dwarf2json executable. Default ./dwarf2json. This file can be obtained by compiling the following project using Go.
  • Windows – path to pdbparse-to-json.py. Default ./pdbparse-to-json.py. This file can be found here.

The tool creates the following files:

  • Symbol map – this file changes once the system kernel is updated or a kernel module is installed. The file does not change on system reboot.
  • Memory regions – this file changes when adding or removing hardware or drivers that affect the system's memory map (e.g., when adding register addresses). The file does not change on system reboot.
  • hash.zip – this file is required for attestation but is unnecessary for all other capabilities. The ZIP file contains the required data to attest to a single process. The file changes on library or executable update.
  • kpgd_file.conf (relevant for Linux OS only) – helps with faster initialization of the library. The file changes on system reboot.

This section provides DOCA App Shield library sample implementations on top of BlueField DPU.

6.1. Sample Prerequisites

Follow the prerequisites in Prerequisites then copy the generated JSON files, symbols.json and mem_regions.json, to the /tmp/ directory.

6.2. Running the Sample

  1. Refer to the following documents:
  2. To build a given sample:
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    cd /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/<sample_name> meson build ninja -C build

    Note:

    The binary doca_<sample_name> will be created under ./build/.

  3. Sample (e.g., apsh_libs_get) usage:
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    Usage: doca_apsh_libs_get [DOCA Flags] [Program Flags] DOCA Flags: -h, --help Print a help synopsis -v, --version Print program version information -l, --log-level Set the log level for the program <CRITICAL=20, ERROR=30, WARNING=40, INFO=50, DEBUG=60> Program Flags: -p, --pid Process ID of process to be analyzed -f, --vuid VUID of the System device -d, --dma DMA device name -s, --osty <windows|linux> System OS type

    For additional information per sample, use the -h option:
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    ./build/doca_<sample_name> -h

6.3. Samples

6.3.1. Apsh Libs Get

This sample illustrates how to properly initialize DOCA App Shield and use its API to get the list of loadable libraries of a specific process. The sample logic includes:

  1. Opening DOCA device with DMA ability.
  2. Creating DOCA Apsh context.
  3. Setting and starting the Apsh context.
  4. Opening DOCA remote PCI device via given vendor unique identifier (VUID).
  5. Creating DOCA Apsh system handler.
  6. Setting fields and starting Apsh system handler.
  7. Getting the list of system process using Apsh API and searching for a specific process with the given PID.
  8. Geting the list of process-loadable libraries using doca_apsh_libs_get Apsh API call.
  9. Querying the libraries for 3 selected fields using doca_apsh_lib_info_get Apsh API call.
  10. Printing libraries' attributes to the terminal.
  11. Cleaning up.

References:

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_libs_get/apsh_libs_get_sample.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_libs_get/apsh_libs_get_main.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_libs_get/meson.build
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.c; /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.h

6.3.2. Apsh Modules Get

This sample illustrates how to properly initialize DOCA App Shield and use its API to get the list of installed modules on a monitored system. The sample logic includes:

  1. Opening DOCA device with DMA ability.
  2. Creating DOCA Apsh context.
  3. Setting and starting the Apsh context.
  4. Opening DOCA remote PCI device via given VUID.
  5. Creating DOCA Apsh system handler.
  6. Setting fields and start Apsh system handler.
  7. Getting the the list of system-installed modules using doca_apsh_modules_get Apsh API call.
  8. Querying the names of modules using doca_apsh_module_info_get Apsh API call.
  9. Printing the attributes of up to 5 moduless attributes to the terminal.
  10. Cleaning up.

References:

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_libs_get/apsh_libs_get_sample.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_libs_get/apsh_libs_get_main.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_libs_get/meson.build
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.c; /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.h

6.3.3. Apsh Pslist

This sample illustrates how to properly initialize DOCA App Shield and use its API to get the list of running processes on a monitored system. The sample logic includes:

  1. Opening DOCA device with DMA ability.
  2. Creating DOCA Apsh context.
  3. Setting and starting the Apsh context.
  4. Opening DOCA remote PCI device via given VUID.
  5. Creating DOCA Apsh system handler.
  6. Setting fields and starting Apsh system handler.
  7. Getting the list of processes running on the system using doca_apsh_processes_get Apsh API call.
  8. Querying the processes for 4 chosen attributes using doca_apsh_proc_info_get Apsh API call.
  9. Printing the attributes of up to 5 processes to the terminal.
  10. Cleaning up.

References:

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_pslist/apsh_pslist_sample.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_pslist/apsh_pslist_main.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_pslist/meson.build
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.c; /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.h

6.3.4. Apsh Threads Get

This sample illustrates how to properly initialize DOCA App Shield and use its API to get the list of threads of a specific process. The sample logic includes:

  1. Opening DOCA device with DMA ability.
  2. Creating DOCA Apsh context.
  3. Setting and starting the Apsh context.
  4. Opening DOCA remote PCI device via given VUID.
  5. Creating DOCA Apsh system handler.
  6. Setting fields and starting Apsh system handler.
  7. Getting the list of system processes using Apsh API and searching for a specific process with the given PID.
  8. Getting the list of process threads using doca_apsh_threads_get Apsh API call.
  9. Querying the threads for up to 3 selected fields using doca_apsh_thread_info_get Apsh API call.
  10. Printing thread attributes to the terminal.
  11. Cleaning up.

References:

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_threads_get/apsh_threads_get_sample.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_threads_get/apsh_threads_get_main.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_threads_get/meson.build
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.c; /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.h

6.3.5. Apsh Vads Get

This sample illustrates how to properly initialize DOCA App Shield and use its API to get the list of virtual address descriptors (VADs) of a specific process. The sample logic includes:

  1. Opening DOCA device with DMA ability.
  2. Creating DOCA Apsh context.
  3. Setting and start the Apsh context.
  4. Opening DOCA remote PCI device via given VUID.
  5. Creating DOCA Apsh system handler.
  6. Setting fields and starting Apsh system handler.
  7. Getting the list of system processes using Apsh API and searching for a specific process with the given PID.
  8. Getting the list of process VADs using doca_apsh_vads_get Apsh API call.
  9. Querying the VADs for 3 selected fields using doca_apsh_vad_info_get Apsh API call.
  10. Printing the attributes of up to 5 VADs to the terminal.
  11. Cleaning up.

References:

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_vads_get/apsh_vads_get_sample.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_vads_get/apsh_vads_get_main.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_vads_get/meson.build
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.c; /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.h

6.3.6. Apsh Envars Get

This sample illustrates how to properly initialize DOCA App Shield and use its API to get the list of environment variables of a specific process.

Note:

This sample works only on target systems with Windows OS.


The sample logic includes:

  1. Opening DOCA device with DMA ability.
  2. Creating DOCA Apsh context.
  3. Setting and starting the Apsh context.
  4. Opening DOCA remote PCIe device via given VUID.
  5. Creating DOCA Apsh system handler.
  6. Setting fields and starting Apsh system handler.
  7. Getting the list of system processes using Apsh API and searching for a specific process with the given PID.
  8. Getting the list of process envars using doca_apsh_envars_get Apsh API call.
  9. Querying the envars for 2 selected fields using doca_apsh_envar_info_get Apsh API call.
  10. Printing the envars attributes to the terminal.
  11. Cleaning up.

References:

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_envars_get/apsh_envars_get_sample.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_envars_get/apsh_envars_get_main.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_envars_get/meson.build
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.c; /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.h

6.3.7. Apsh Privileges Get

This sample illustrates how to properly initialize DOCA App Shield and use its API to get the list of privileges of a specific process.

Note:

This sample works only on target systems with Windows OS.


The sample logic includes:

  1. Opening DOCA device with DMA ability.
  2. Creating DOCA Apsh context.
  3. Setting and starting the Apsh context.
  4. Opening DOCA remote PCIe device via given VUID.
  5. Creating DOCA Apsh system handler.
  6. Setting fields and starting Apsh system handler.
  7. Getting the list of system processes using Apsh API and searching for a specific process with the given PID.
  8. Getting the list of process privileges using the doca_apsh_privileges_get Apsh API call.
  9. Querying the privileges for 5 selected fields using the doca_apsh_privilege_info_get Apsh API call.
  10. Printing the privileges attributes to the terminal.
  11. Cleaning up.

References:

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_privileges_get/apsh_privileges_get_sample.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_privileges_get/apsh_privileges_get_main.c
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_privileges_get/meson.build
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.c; /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_apsh/apsh_common.h

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