TaintScope: A Checksum-Aware Directed Fuzzing Tool for Automatic Software Vulnerability Detection

Fuzz testing has proven successful in finding
security vulnerabilities in large programs. However, traditional
fuzz testing tools have a well-known common drawback: they
are ineffective if most generated malformed inputs are rejected
in the early stage of program running, especially when target
programs employ checksum mechanisms to verify the integrity
of inputs. In this paper, we present TaintScope, an automatic
fuzzing system using dynamic taint analysis and symbolic
execution techniques, to tackle the above problem. TaintScope
has several novel contributions: 1) TaintScope is the first
checksum-aware fuzzing tool to the best of our knowledge. It
can identify checksum fields in input instances, accurately locate
checksum-based integrity checks by using branch profiling
techniques, and bypass such checks via control flow alteration.
2) TaintScope is a directed fuzzing tool working at X86 binary
level (on both Linux and Window). Based on fine-grained
dynamic taint tracing, TaintScope identifies which bytes in a
well-formed input are used in security-sensitive operations (e.g.,
invoking system/library calls) and then focuses on modifying
such bytes. Thus, generated inputs are more likely to trigger
potential vulnerabilities. 3) TaintScope is fully automatic, from
detecting checksum, directed fuzzing, to repairing crashed
samples. It can fix checksum values in generated inputs using
combined concrete and symbolic execution techniques.
We evaluate TaintScope on a number of large real-world
applications. Experimental results show that TaintScope can
accurately locate the checksum checks in programs and dramatically
improve the effectiveness of fuzz testing. TaintScope
has already found 27 previously unknown vulnerabilities in
several widely used applications, including Adobe Acrobat,
Google Picasa, Microsoft Paint, and ImageMagick. Most of
these severe vulnerabilities have been confirmed by Secunia
and oCERT, and assigned CVE identifiers (such as CVE-2009-
1882, CVE-2009-2688). Corresponding patches from vendors
are released or in progress based on our reports.

Source: http://faculty.cs.tamu.edu/guofei/paper/TaintScope-Oakland10.pdf

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