Better bug reporting with better privacy

Miguel Castro, Manuel Costa, and Jean-Philippe Martin

Abstract

Software vendors collect bug reports from customers to improve the quality of their software. These reports should include the inputs that make the software fail, to enable vendors to reproduce the bug. However, vendors rarely include these inputs in reports because they may contain private user data. We describe a solution to this problem that provides software vendors with new input values that satisfy the conditions required to make the software follow the same execution path until it fails, but are otherwise unrelated with the original inputs. These new inputs allow vendors to reproduce the bug while revealing less private information than existing approaches. Additionally, we provide a mechanism to measure the amount of information revealed in an error report. This mechanism allows users to perform informed decisions on whether or not to submit reports. We implemented a prototype of our solution and evaluated it with real errors in real programs. The results show that we can produce error reports that allow software vendors to reproduce bugs while revealing almost no private information.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the 13th international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems
URLhttp://research.microsoft.com/~jpmartin/papers/Castro08Better.pdf
PublisherACM Press
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