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Chen, Xiarun, Li, Qien, Yang, Zhou, Liu, Yongzhi, Shi, Shaosen, Xie, Chenglin, Wen, Weiping.  2021.  VulChecker: Achieving More Effective Taint Analysis by Identifying Sanitizers Automatically. 2021 IEEE 20th International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (TrustCom). :774–782.
The automatic detection of vulnerabilities in Web applications using taint analysis is a hot topic. However, existing taint analysis methods for sanitizers identification are too simple to find available taint transmission chains effectively. These methods generally use pre-constructed dictionaries or simple keywords to identify, which usually suffer from large false positives and false negatives. No doubt, it will have a greater impact on the final result of the taint analysis. To solve that, we summarise and classify the commonly used sanitizers in Web applications and propose an identification method based on semantic analysis. Our method can accurately and completely identify the sanitizers in the target Web applications through static analysis. Specifically, we analyse the natural semantics and program semantics of existing sanitizers, use semantic analysis to find more in Web applications. Besides, we implemented the method prototype in PHP and achieved a vulnerability detection tool called VulChecker. Then, we experimented with some popular open-source CMS frameworks. The results show that Vulchecker can accurately identify more sanitizers. In terms of vulnerability detection, VulChecker also has a lower false positive rate and a higher detection rate than existing methods. Finally, we used VulChecker to analyse the latest PHP applications. We identified several new suspicious taint data propagation chains. Before the paper was completed, we have identified four unreported vulnerabilities. In general, these results show that our approach is highly effective in improving vulnerability detection based on taint analysis.