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Angelini, M., Blasilli, G., Borrello, P., Coppa, E., D’Elia, D. C., Ferracci, S., Lenti, S., Santucci, G..  2018.  ROPMate: Visually Assisting the Creation of ROP-based Exploits. 2018 IEEE Symposium on Visualization for Cyber Security (VizSec). :1–8.

Exploits based on ROP (Return-Oriented Programming) are increasingly present in advanced attack scenarios. Testing systems for ROP-based attacks can be valuable for improving the security and reliability of software. In this paper, we propose ROPMATE, the first Visual Analytics system specifically designed to assist human red team ROP exploit builders. In contrast, previous ROP tools typically require users to inspect a puzzle of hundreds or thousands of lines of textual information, making it a daunting task. ROPMATE presents builders with a clear interface of well-defined and semantically meaningful gadgets, i.e., fragments of code already present in the binary application that can be chained to form fully-functional exploits. The system supports incrementally building exploits by suggesting gadget candidates filtered according to constraints on preserved registers and accessed memory. Several visual aids are offered to identify suitable gadgets and assemble them into semantically correct chains. We report on a preliminary user study that shows how ROPMATE can assist users in building ROP chains.