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Chen, Yi, You, Wei, Lee, Yeonjoon, Chen, Kai, Wang, XiaoFeng, Zou, Wei.  2017.  Mass Discovery of Android Traffic Imprints Through Instantiated Partial Execution. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :815–828.
Monitoring network behaviors of mobile applications, controlling their resource access and detecting potentially harmful apps are becoming increasingly important for the security protection within today's organizational, ISP and carriers. For this purpose, apps need to be identified from their communication, based upon their individual traffic signatures (called imprints in our research). Creating imprints for a large number of apps is nontrivial, due to the challenges in comprehensively analyzing their network activities at a large scale, for millions of apps on today's rapidly-growing app marketplaces. Prior research relies on automatic exploration of an app's user interfaces (UIs) to trigger its network activities, which is less likely to scale given the cost of the operation (at least 5 minutes per app) and its effectiveness (limited coverage of an app's behaviors). In this paper, we present Tiger (Traffic Imprint Generator), a novel technique that makes comprehensive app imprint generation possible in a massive scale. At the center of Tiger is a unique instantiated slicing technique, which aggressively prunes the program slice extracted from the app's network-related code by evaluating each variable's impact on possible network invariants, and removing those unlikely to contribute through assigning them concrete values. In this way, Tiger avoids exploring a large number of program paths unrelated to the app's identifiable traffic, thereby reducing the cost of the code analysis by more than one order of magnitude, in comparison with the conventional slicing and execution approach. Our experiments show that Tiger is capable of recovering an app's full network activities within 18 seconds, achieving over 98% coverage of its identifiable packets and 0.742% false detection rate on app identification. Further running the technique on over 200,000 real-world Android apps (including 78.23% potentially harmful apps) leads to the discovery of surprising new types of traffic invariants, including fake device information, hardcoded time values, session IDs and credentials, as well as complicated trigger conditions for an app's network activities, such as human involvement, Intent trigger and server-side instructions. Our findings demonstrate that many network activities cannot easily be invoked through automatic UI exploration and code-analysis based approaches present a promising alternative.
Wang, Yan, Zhang, Chao, Xiang, Xiaobo, Zhao, Zixuan, Li, Wenjie, Gong, Xiaorui, Liu, Bingchang, Chen, Kaixiang, Zou, Wei.  2018.  Revery: From Proof-of-Concept to Exploitable. Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :1914-1927.

Automatic exploit generation is an open challenge. Existing solutions usually explore in depth the crashing paths, i.e., paths taken by proof-of-concept (POC) inputs triggering vulnerabilities, and generate exploits when exploitable states are found along the paths. However, exploitable states do not always exist in crashing paths. Moreover, existing solutions heavily rely on symbolic execution and are not scalable in path exploration and exploit generation. In addition, few solutions could exploit heap-based vulnerabilities. In this paper, we propose a new solution revery to search for exploitable states in paths diverging from crashing paths, and generate control-flow hijacking exploits for heap-based vulnerabilities. It adopts three novel techniques:(1) a digraph to characterize a vulnerability's memory layout and its contributor instructions;(2) a fuzz solution to explore diverging paths, which have similar memory layouts as the crashing paths, in order to search more exploitable states and generate corresponding diverging inputs;(3) a stitch solution to stitch crashing paths and diverging paths together, and synthesize EXP inputs able to trigger both vulnerabilities and exploitable states. We have developed a prototype of revery based on the binary analysis engine angr, and evaluated it on a set of 19 real world CTF (capture the flag) challenges. Experiment results showed that it could generate exploits for 9 (47%) of them, and generate EXP inputs able to trigger exploitable states for another 5 (26%) of them.