Automated Whitebox Fuzz Testing. Author(s): P. Godefroid, M. Levin, D. Molnar. Download: Paper (PDF). Date: 8 Feb Document Type: Reports. Additional . Fuzzing or fuzz testing is an automated software testing technique that involves providing . A whitebox fuzzer can be very effective at exposing bugs that hide deep in the program. However, the time used for analysis (of the program or its. Automated Whitebox. Fuzz Testing. Patrice Godefroid (Microsoft Research) . Michael Y. Levin (Microsoft Center for. Software Excellence) . David Molnar.

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A black-box fuzzer [6] [26] treats the program as a black box and is unaware of internal program structure. For instance, a smart generation-based fuzzer [24] takes the input model that was provided by the user to generate new inputs.

Automated Whitebox Fuzz Testing

A CRC is an error-detecting code whitbox ensures that the integrity of the data contained in the input file is preserved during transmission. However, there are attempts to identify and re-compute a potential checksum in the mutated input, once a dumb mutation-based fuzzer has modified the protected data. Fuzzing is used mostly as an automated technique to expose vulnerabilities in security-critical programs that might be exploited with malicious intent.

Inthe crashme tool was released, which was intended testig test the robustness of Unix and Unix-like operating systems by executing random machine instructions.

It also provided early debugging tools to determine the cause and category of each detected failure. In order to expose bugs, a fuzzer must be able to distinguish expected normal from unexpected buggy program behavior. A whitebox fuzzer can be very effective at exposing bugs that hide deep in the program.

Retrieved 29 September Some fuzzers have the capability to do both, to generate inputs from scratch and to generate inputs by mutation of existing seeds.


An effective fuzzer generates semi-valid inputs that are “valid enough” in that they are not directly rejected by the parser, but do create unexpected behaviors deeper in the program whihebox are “invalid enough” to expose corner cases that have not been properly dealt with.

For instance, LearnLib employs active learning to generate an automaton that represents the behavior of a web application. Now, a fuzzer that is unaware of the CRC is unlikely to generate the correct checksum.

A fuzzer produces a large number of inputs, and many of the failure-inducing ones may effectively expose the same software bug. It generates inputs by modifying or rather mutating the provided seeds. InDuran and Ntafos formally investigated the effectiveness of testing a program with random inputs.

Typically, fuzzers are used to test programs that take structured inputs. Retrieved from ” https: Many Internet-facing services, such as some web server deployments, use Bash to process certain requests, allowing an attacker to cause vulnerable versions of Bash to execute arbitrary commands. Typically, a fuzzer is considered more effective if it achieves a higher degree of code coverage.

For example, when fuzzing the image library libpngthe user would provide a set of valid PNG image files as seeds while a mutation-based fuzzer would modify these seeds to produce semi-valid variants of each seed. For instance, SAGE [32] leverages symbolic execution to systematically explore different paths in the program. Retrieved 10 July For instance, a program written in C may or may not crash when an input causes a buffer overflow.

However, the time used for analysis of the program or its specification can become prohibitive. Retrieved 14 March To make a fuzzer more sensitive to failures other than crashes, sanitizers can be used to inject assertions that crash the program when a failure is detected.

A fuzzer can be categorized as follows: Given the failure-inducing input, an automated minimization tool would remove as many input bytes as possible while still reproducing the original bug.


Previously unreported, triaged bugs might be automatically reported to a bug tracking system. Patrice GodefroidMichael Y. However, generally the input model must be explicitly provided, which is difficult to do when the model is proprietary, unknown, or very complex. Rather the program’s behavior is undefined. However, a machine cannot always distinguish a bug from a feature.

The execution of random inputs is also called random testing or monkey testing. A white-box fuzzer [30] [25] leverages program analysis to systematically increase code coverage or to reach certain critical program locations. When the program processes the received file and the recorded checksum does not match the re-computed checksum, then the file is rejected as invalid. Examples of input models are formal grammarsfile formatsGUI -models, and network protocols.

A gray-box fuzzer leverages instrumentation rather than program analysis to glean information about the program. This page was last edited on 9 Octoberat The project was designed to test the reliability of Unix programs by executing a large number of random inputs in quick succession until they crashed. The collected constraints are then negated one by one and solved with a constraint solver, producing new inputs that exercise different control paths in the program.

A dumb fuzzer [6] [30] does not require the input model and can thus be employed to fuzz a wider variety of programs.

Automated Whitebox Fuzz Testing – NDSS Symposium

Fuzzing in combination with dynamic program analysis can be used to try and generate an input that actually witnesses the reported problem. Retrieved 25 September This leads to a reasonable performance overhead but informs the fuzzer about the increase in code coverage during fuzzing, which makes gray-box fuzzers extremely efficient vulnerability detection tools.

It showed tremendous potential in the automation of vulnerability detection.