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Automatic Partial Loop Summarization in Dynamic Test Generation

Patrice Godefroid and Daniel Luchaup

Abstract

Whitebox fuzzing extends dynamic test generation based on symbolic execution and constraint solving from unit testing to whole-application security testing. Unfortunately, input-dependent loops may cause an explosion in the number of constraints to be solved and in the number of execution paths to be explored. In practice, whitebox fuzzers arbitrarily bound the number of constraints and paths due to input-dependent loops, hence at the risk of missing code and bugs.

In this work, we investigate the use of simple loop-guard pattern-matching rules to automatically guess an input constraint defining the number of iterations of input-dependent loops during dynamic symbolic execution. We discover the loop structure of the program on the fly, detect induction variables, which are variables modified by a constant value during loop iterations, and infer simple partial loop invariants relating the value of such variables. Whenever a guess is confirmed later during the current dynamic symbolic execution, we then inject new constraints representing pre and post loop conditions, effectively summarizing the symbolic execution of that loop. These pre and post conditions are derived from the partial loop invariants synthesized dynamically using pattern-matching rules on the loop guards and induction variables, without requiring any static analysis, theorem proving, or input-format specification. This technique has been implemented in the whitebox fuzzer SAGE, scales to large programs with many nested loops, and we present results of experiments with a Windows 7 image parser.

Details

Publication typeTechReport
NumberMSR-TR-2011-13
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