Visible to the public Biblio

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Cheng, Xiao, Wang, Haoyu, Hua, Jiayi, Zhang, Miao, Xu, Guoai, Yi, Li, Sui, Yulei.  2019.  Static Detection of Control-Flow-Related Vulnerabilities Using Graph Embedding. 2019 24th International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems (ICECCS). :41–50.

Static vulnerability detection has shown its effectiveness in detecting well-defined low-level memory errors. However, high-level control-flow related (CFR) vulnerabilities, such as insufficient control flow management (CWE-691), business logic errors (CWE-840), and program behavioral problems (CWE-438), which are often caused by a wide variety of bad programming practices, posing a great challenge for existing general static analysis solutions. This paper presents a new deep-learning-based graph embedding approach to accurate detection of CFR vulnerabilities. Our approach makes a new attempt by applying a recent graph convolutional network to embed code fragments in a compact and low-dimensional representation that preserves high-level control-flow information of a vulnerable program. We have conducted our experiments using 8,368 real-world vulnerable programs by comparing our approach with several traditional static vulnerability detectors and state-of-the-art machine-learning-based approaches. The experimental results show the effectiveness of our approach in terms of both accuracy and recall. Our research has shed light on the promising direction of combining program analysis with deep learning techniques to address the general static analysis challenges.

Gao, Qing, Ma, Sen, Shao, Sihao, Sui, Yulei, Zhao, Guoliang, Ma, Luyao, Ma, Xiao, Duan, Fuyao, Deng, Xiao, Zhang, Shikun et al..  2018.  CoBOT: Static C/C++ Bug Detection in the Presence of Incomplete Code. Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Program Comprehension. :385-388.

To obtain precise and sound results, most of existing static analyzers require whole program analysis with complete source code. However, in reality, the source code of an application always interacts with many third-party libraries, which are often not easily accessible to static analyzers. Worse still, more than 30% of legacy projects [1] cannot be compiled easily due to complicated configuration environments (e.g., third-party libraries, compiler options and macros), making ideal "whole-program analysis" unavailable in practice. This paper presents CoBOT [2], a static analysis tool that can detect bugs in the presence of incomplete code. It analyzes function APIs unavailable in application code by either using function summarization or automatically downloading and analyzing the corresponding library code as inferred from the application code and its configuration files. The experiments show that CoBOT is not only easy to use, but also effective in detecting bugs in real-world programs with incomplete code. Our demonstration video is at:

Yan, Hua, Sui, Yulei, Chen, Shiping, Xue, Jingling.  2018.  Spatio-temporal Context Reduction: A Pointer-analysis-based Static Approach for Detecting Use-after-free Vulnerabilities. Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering. :327–337.
Zero-day Use-After-Free (UAF) vulnerabilities are increasingly popular and highly dangerous, but few mitigations exist. We introduce a new pointer-analysis-based static analysis, CRed, for finding UAF bugs in multi-MLOC C source code efficiently and effectively. CRed achieves this by making three advances: (i) a spatio-temporal context reduction technique for scaling down soundly and precisely the exponential number of contexts that would otherwise be considered at a pair of free and use sites, (ii) a multi-stage analysis for filtering out false alarms efficiently, and (iii) a path-sensitive demand-driven approach for finding the points-to information required. We have implemented CRed in LLVM-3.8.0 and compared it with four different state-of-the-art static tools: CBMC (model checking), Clang (abstract interpretation), Coccinelle (pattern matching), and Supa (pointer analysis) using all the C test cases in Juliet Test Suite (JTS) and 10 open-source C applications. For the ground-truth validated with JTS, CRed detects all the 138 known UAF bugs as CBMC and Supa do while Clang and Coccinelle miss some bugs, with no false alarms from any tool. For practicality validated with the 10 applications (totaling 3+ MLOC), CRed reports 132 warnings including 85 bugs in 7.6 hours while the existing tools are either unscalable by terminating within 3 days only for one application (CBMC) or impractical by finding virtually no bugs (Clang and Coccinelle) or issuing an excessive number of false alarms (Supa).
Fan, Xiaokang, Sui, Yulei, Liao, Xiangke, Xue, Jingling.  2017.  Boosting the Precision of Virtual Call Integrity Protection with Partial Pointer Analysis for C++. Proceedings of the 26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis. :329–340.

We present, VIP, an approach to boosting the precision of Virtual call Integrity Protection for large-scale real-world C++ programs (e.g., Chrome) by using pointer analysis for the first time. VIP introduces two new techniques: (1) a sound and scalable partial pointer analysis for discovering statically the sets of legitimate targets at virtual callsites from separately compiled C++ modules and (2) a lightweight instrumentation technique for performing (virtual call) integrity checks at runtime. VIP raises the bar against vtable hijacking attacks by providing stronger security guarantees than the CHA-based approach with comparable performance overhead. VIP is implemented in LLVM-3.8.0 and evaluated using SPEC programs and Chrome. Statically, VIP protects virtual calls more effectively than CHA by significantly reducing the sets of legitimate targets permitted at 20.3% of the virtual callsites per program, on average. Dynamically, VIP incurs an average (maximum) instrumentation overhead of 0.7% (3.3%), making it practically deployable as part of a compiler tool chain.