Visible to the public Biblio

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2019-12-17
Zhao, Shixiong, Gu, Rui, Qiu, Haoran, Li, Tsz On, Wang, Yuexuan, Cui, Heming, Yang, Junfeng.  2018.  OWL: Understanding and Detecting Concurrency Attacks. 2018 48th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN). :219-230.
Just like bugs in single-threaded programs can lead to vulnerabilities, bugs in multithreaded programs can also lead to concurrency attacks. We studied 31 real-world concurrency attacks, including privilege escalations, hijacking code executions, and bypassing security checks. We found that compared to concurrency bugs' traditional consequences (e.g., program crashes), concurrency attacks' consequences are often implicit, extremely hard to be observed and diagnosed by program developers. Moreover, in addition to bug-inducing inputs, extra subtle inputs are often needed to trigger the attacks. These subtle features make existing tools ineffective to detect concurrency attacks. To tackle this problem, we present OWL, the first practical tool that models general concurrency attacks' implicit consequences and automatically detects them. We implemented OWL in Linux and successfully detected five new concurrency attacks, including three confirmed and fixed by developers, and two exploited from previously known and well-studied concurrency bugs. OWL has also detected seven known concurrency attacks. Our evaluation shows that OWL eliminates 94.1% of the reports generated by existing concurrency bug detectors as false positive, greatly reducing developers' efforts on diagnosis. All OWL source code, concurrency attack exploit scripts, and results are available on github.com/hku-systems/owl.
2019-11-19
Ying, Huan, Zhang, Yanmiao, Han, Lifang, Cheng, Yushi, Li, Jiyuan, Ji, Xiaoyu, Xu, Wenyuan.  2019.  Detecting Buffer-Overflow Vulnerabilities in Smart Grid Devices via Automatic Static Analysis. 2019 IEEE 3rd Information Technology, Networking, Electronic and Automation Control Conference (ITNEC). :813-817.

As a modern power transmission network, smart grid connects plenty of terminal devices. However, along with the growth of devices are the security threats. Different from the previous separated environment, an adversary nowadays can destroy the power system by attacking these devices. Therefore, it's critical to ensure the security and safety of terminal devices. To achieve this goal, detecting the pre-existing vulnerabilities of the device program and enhance the terminal security, are of great importance and necessity. In this paper, we propose a novel approach that detects existing buffer-overflow vulnerabilities of terminal devices via automatic static analysis (ASA). We utilize the static analysis to extract the device program information and build corresponding program models. By further matching the generated program model with pre-defined vulnerability patterns, we achieve vulnerability detection and error reporting. The evaluation results demonstrate that our method can effectively detect buffer-overflow vulnerabilities of smart terminals with a high accuracy and a low false positive rate.

2019-11-12
Zhang, Xian, Ben, Kerong, Zeng, Jie.  2018.  Cross-Entropy: A New Metric for Software Defect Prediction. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security (QRS). :111-122.

Defect prediction is an active topic in software quality assurance, which can help developers find potential bugs and make better use of resources. To improve prediction performance, this paper introduces cross-entropy, one common measure for natural language, as a new code metric into defect prediction tasks and proposes a framework called DefectLearner for this process. We first build a recurrent neural network language model to learn regularities in source code from software repository. Based on the trained model, the cross-entropy of each component can be calculated. To evaluate the discrimination for defect-proneness, cross-entropy is compared with 20 widely used metrics on 12 open-source projects. The experimental results show that cross-entropy metric is more discriminative than 50% of the traditional metrics. Besides, we combine cross-entropy with traditional metric suites together for accurate defect prediction. With cross-entropy added, the performance of prediction models is improved by an average of 2.8% in F1-score.

Vizarreta, Petra, Sakic, Ermin, Kellerer, Wolfgang, Machuca, Carmen Mas.  2019.  Mining Software Repositories for Predictive Modelling of Defects in SDN Controller. 2019 IFIP/IEEE Symposium on Integrated Network and Service Management (IM). :80-88.

In Software Defined Networking (SDN) control plane of forwarding devices is concentrated in the SDN controller, which assumes the role of a network operating system. Big share of today's commercial SDN controllers are based on OpenDaylight, an open source SDN controller platform, whose bug repository is publicly available. In this article we provide a first insight into 8k+ bugs reported in the period over five years between March 2013 and September 2018. We first present the functional components in OpenDaylight architecture, localize the most vulnerable modules and measure their contribution to the total bug content. We provide high fidelity models that can accurately reproduce the stochastic behaviour of bug manifestation and bug removal rates, and discuss how these can be used to optimize the planning of the test effort, and to improve the software release management. Finally, we study the correlation between the code internals, derived from the Git version control system, and software defect metrics, derived from Jira issue tracker. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to provide a comprehensive analysis of bug characteristics in a production grade SDN controller.

2019-11-04
Li, Teng, Ma, Jianfeng, Pei, Qingqi, Shen, Yulong, Sun, Cong.  2018.  Anomalies Detection of Routers Based on Multiple Information Learning. 2018 International Conference on Networking and Network Applications (NaNA). :206-211.

Routers are important devices in the networks that carry the burden of transmitting information among the communication devices on the Internet. If a malicious adversary wants to intercept the information or paralyze the network, it can directly attack the routers and then achieve the suspicious goals. Thus, preventing router security is of great importance. However, router systems are notoriously difficult to understand or diagnose for their inaccessibility and heterogeneity. The common way of gaining access to the router system and detecting the anomaly behaviors is to inspect the router syslogs or monitor the packets of information flowing to the routers. These approaches just diagnose the routers from one aspect but do not consider them from multiple views. In this paper, we propose an approach to detect the anomalies and faults of the routers with multiple information learning. We try to use the routers' information not from the developer's view but from the user' s view, which does not need any expert knowledge. First, we do the offline learning to transform the benign or corrupted user actions into the syslogs. Then, we try to decide whether the input routers' conditions are poor or not with clustering. During the detection phase, we use the distance between the event and the cluster to decide if it is the anomaly event and we can provide the corresponding solutions. We have applied our approach in a university network which contains Cisco, Huawei and Dlink routers for three months. We aligned our experiment with former work as a baseline for comparison. Our approach can gain 89.6% accuracy in detecting the attacks which is 5.1% higher than the former work. The results show that our approach performs in limited time as well as memory usages and has high detection and low false positives.

2019-09-26
Elliott, A. S., Ruef, A., Hicks, M., Tarditi, D..  2018.  Checked C: Making C Safe by Extension. 2018 IEEE Cybersecurity Development (SecDev). :53-60.

This paper presents Checked C, an extension to C designed to support spatial safety, implemented in Clang and LLVM. Checked C's design is distinguished by its focus on backward-compatibility, incremental conversion, developer control, and enabling highly performant code. Like past approaches to a safer C, Checked C employs a form of checked pointer whose accesses can be statically or dynamically verified. Performance evaluation on a set of standard benchmark programs shows overheads to be relatively low. More interestingly, Checked C introduces the notions of a checked region and bounds-safe interfaces.

2019-07-01
Clemente, C. J., Jaafar, F., Malik, Y..  2018.  Is Predicting Software Security Bugs Using Deep Learning Better Than the Traditional Machine Learning Algorithms? 2018 IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security (QRS). :95–102.

Software insecurity is being identified as one of the leading causes of security breaches. In this paper, we revisited one of the strategies in solving software insecurity, which is the use of software quality metrics. We utilized a multilayer deep feedforward network in examining whether there is a combination of metrics that can predict the appearance of security-related bugs. We also applied the traditional machine learning algorithms such as decision tree, random forest, naïve bayes, and support vector machines and compared the results with that of the Deep Learning technique. The results have successfully demonstrated that it was possible to develop an effective predictive model to forecast software insecurity based on the software metrics and using Deep Learning. All the models generated have shown an accuracy of more than sixty percent with Deep Learning leading the list. This finding proved that utilizing Deep Learning methods and a combination of software metrics can be tapped to create a better forecasting model thereby aiding software developers in predicting security bugs.

2019-03-04
Hejderup, J., Deursen, A. v, Gousios, G..  2018.  Software Ecosystem Call Graph for Dependency Management. 2018 IEEE/ACM 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: New Ideas and Emerging Technologies Results (ICSE-NIER). :101–104.
A popular form of software reuse is the use of open source software libraries hosted on centralized code repositories, such as Maven or npm. Developers only need to declare dependencies to external libraries, and automated tools make them available to the workspace of the project. Recent incidents, such as the Equifax data breach and the leftpad package removal, demonstrate the difficulty in assessing the severity, impact and spread of bugs in dependency networks. While dependency checkers are being adapted as a counter measure, they only provide indicative information. To remedy this situation, we propose a fine-grained dependency network that goes beyond packages and into call graphs. The result is a versioned ecosystem-level call graph. In this paper, we outline the process to construct the proposed graph and present a preliminary evaluation of a security issue from a core package to an affected client application.
2019-02-14
Peng, H., Shoshitaishvili, Y., Payer, M..  2018.  T-Fuzz: Fuzzing by Program Transformation. 2018 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :697-710.
Fuzzing is a simple yet effective approach to discover software bugs utilizing randomly generated inputs. However, it is limited by coverage and cannot find bugs hidden in deep execution paths of the program because the randomly generated inputs fail complex sanity checks, e.g., checks on magic values, checksums, or hashes. To improve coverage, existing approaches rely on imprecise heuristics or complex input mutation techniques (e.g., symbolic execution or taint analysis) to bypass sanity checks. Our novel method tackles coverage from a different angle: by removing sanity checks in the target program. T-Fuzz leverages a coverage-guided fuzzer to generate inputs. Whenever the fuzzer can no longer trigger new code paths, a light-weight, dynamic tracing based technique detects the input checks that the fuzzer-generated inputs fail. These checks are then removed from the target program. Fuzzing then continues on the transformed program, allowing the code protected by the removed checks to be triggered and potential bugs discovered. Fuzzing transformed programs to find bugs poses two challenges: (1) removal of checks leads to over-approximation and false positives, and (2) even for true bugs, the crashing input on the transformed program may not trigger the bug in the original program. As an auxiliary post-processing step, T-Fuzz leverages a symbolic execution-based approach to filter out false positives and reproduce true bugs in the original program. By transforming the program as well as mutating the input, T-Fuzz covers more code and finds more true bugs than any existing technique. We have evaluated T-Fuzz on the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge dataset, LAVA-M dataset and 4 real-world programs (pngfix, tiffinfo, magick and pdftohtml). For the CGC dataset, T-Fuzz finds bugs in 166 binaries, Driller in 121, and AFL in 105. In addition, found 3 new bugs in previously-fuzzed programs and libraries.
2018-09-05
Teusner, R., Matthies, C., Giese, P..  2017.  Should I Bug You? Identifying Domain Experts in Software Projects Using Code Complexity Metrics 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security (QRS). :418–425.
In any sufficiently complex software system there are experts, having a deeper understanding of parts of the system than others. However, it is not always clear who these experts are and which particular parts of the system they can provide help with. We propose a framework to elicit the expertise of developers and recommend experts by analyzing complexity measures over time. Furthermore, teams can detect those parts of the software for which currently no, or only few experts exist and take preventive actions to keep the collective code knowledge and ownership high. We employed the developed approach at a medium-sized company. The results were evaluated with a survey, comparing the perceived and the computed expertise of developers. We show that aggregated code metrics can be used to identify experts for different software components. The identified experts were rated as acceptable candidates by developers in over 90% of all cases.
2018-07-06
Du, Xiaojiang.  2004.  Using k-nearest neighbor method to identify poison message failure. IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, 2004. GLOBECOM '04. 4:2113–2117Vol.4.

Poison message failure is a mechanism that has been responsible for large scale failures in both telecommunications and IP networks. The poison message failure can propagate in the network and cause an unstable network. We apply a machine learning, data mining technique in the network fault management area. We use the k-nearest neighbor method to identity the poison message failure. We also propose a "probabilistic" k-nearest neighbor method which outputs a probability distribution about the poison message. Through extensive simulations, we show that the k-nearest neighbor method is very effective in identifying the responsible message type.

2018-06-20
Aslanyan, H., Avetisyan, A., Arutunian, M., Keropyan, G., Kurmangaleev, S., Vardanyan, V..  2017.  Scalable Framework for Accurate Binary Code Comparison. 2017 Ivannikov ISPRAS Open Conference (ISPRAS). :34–38.
Comparison of two binary files has many practical applications: the ability to detect programmatic changes between two versions, the ability to find old versions of statically linked libraries to prevent the use of well-known bugs, malware analysis, etc. In this article, a framework for comparison of binary files is presented. Framework uses IdaPro [1] disassembler and Binnavi [2] platform to recover structure of the target program and represent it as a call graph (CG). A program dependence graph (PDG) corresponds to each vertex of the CG. The proposed comparison algorithm consists of two main stages. At the first stage, several heuristics are applied to find the exact matches. Two functions are matched if at least one of the calculated heuristics is the same and unique in both binaries. At the second stage, backward and forward slicing is applied on matched vertices of CG to find further matches. According to empiric results heuristic method is effective and has high matching quality for unchanged or slightly modified functions. As a contradiction, to match heavily modified functions, binary code clone detection is used and it is based on finding maximum common subgraph for pair of PDGs. To achieve high performance on extensive binaries, the whole matching process is parallelized. The framework is tested on the number of real world libraries, such as python, openssh, openssl, libxml2, rsync, php, etc. Results show that in most cases more than 95% functions are truly matched. The tool is scalable due to parallelization of functions matching process and generation of PDGs and CGs.
2018-06-07
Bresch, C., Michelet, A., Amato, L., Meyer, T., Hély, D..  2017.  A red team blue team approach towards a secure processor design with hardware shadow stack. 2017 IEEE 2nd International Verification and Security Workshop (IVSW). :57–62.

Software attacks are commonly performed against embedded systems in order to access private data or to run restricted services. In this work, we demonstrate some vulnerabilities of commonly use processor which can be leveraged by hackers to attack a system. The targeted devices are based on open processor architectures OpenRISC and RISC-V. Several software exploits are discussed and demonstrated while a hardware countermeasure is proposed and validated on OpenRISC against Return Oriented Programming attack.

2018-05-24
Kwon, Y., Kim, H. K., Koumadi, K. M., Lim, Y. H., Lim, J. I..  2017.  Automated Vulnerability Analysis Technique for Smart Grid Infrastructure. 2017 IEEE Power Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT). :1–5.

A smart grid is a fully automated power electricity network, which operates, protects and controls all its physical environments of power electricity infrastructure being able to supply energy in an efficient and reliable way. As the importance of cyber-physical system (CPS) security is growing, various vulnerability analysis methodologies for general systems have been suggested, whereas there has been few practical research targeting the smart grid infrastructure. In this paper, we highlight the significance of security vulnerability analysis in the smart grid environment. Then we introduce various automated vulnerability analysis techniques from executable files. In our approach, we propose a novel binary-based vulnerability discovery method for AMI and EV charging system to automatically extract security-related features from the embedded software. Finally, we present the test result of vulnerability discovery applied for AMI and EV charging system in Korean smart grid environment.

Kobeissi, N., Bhargavan, K., Blanchet, B..  2017.  Automated Verification for Secure Messaging Protocols and Their Implementations: A Symbolic and Computational Approach. 2017 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :435–450.

Many popular web applications incorporate end-toend secure messaging protocols, which seek to ensure that messages sent between users are kept confidential and authenticated, even if the web application's servers are broken into or otherwise compelled into releasing all their data. Protocols that promise such strong security guarantees should be held up to rigorous analysis, since protocol flaws and implementations bugs can easily lead to real-world attacks. We propose a novel methodology that allows protocol designers, implementers, and security analysts to collaboratively verify a protocol using automated tools. The protocol is implemented in ProScript, a new domain-specific language that is designed for writing cryptographic protocol code that can both be executed within JavaScript programs and automatically translated to a readable model in the applied pi calculus. This model can then be analyzed symbolically using ProVerif to find attacks in a variety of threat models. The model can also be used as the basis of a computational proof using CryptoVerif, which reduces the security of the protocol to standard cryptographic assumptions. If ProVerif finds an attack, or if the CryptoVerif proof reveals a weakness, the protocol designer modifies the ProScript protocol code and regenerates the model to enable a new analysis. We demonstrate our methodology by implementing and analyzing a variant of the popular Signal Protocol with only minor differences. We use ProVerif and CryptoVerif to find new and previously-known weaknesses in the protocol and suggest practical countermeasures. Our ProScript protocol code is incorporated within the current release of Cryptocat, a desktop secure messenger application written in JavaScript. Our results indicate that, with disciplined programming and some verification expertise, the systematic analysis of complex cryptographic web applications is now becoming practical.

2018-04-04
Zhang, B., Ye, J., Feng, C., Tang, C..  2017.  S2F: Discover Hard-to-Reach Vulnerabilities by Semi-Symbolic Fuzz Testing. 2017 13th International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Security (CIS). :548–552.
Fuzz testing is a popular program testing technique. However, it is difficult to find hard-to-reach vulnerabilities that are nested with complex branches. In this paper, we propose semi-symbolic fuzz testing to discover hard-to-reach vulnerabilities. Our method groups inputs into high frequency and low frequency ones. Then symbolic execution is utilized to solve only uncovered branches to mitigate the path explosion problem. Especially, in order to play the advantages of fuzz testing, our method locates critical branch for each low frequency input and corrects the generated test cases to comfort the branch condition. We also implemented a prototype\textbackslashtextbarS2F, and the experimental results show that S2F can gain 17.70% coverage performance and discover more hard-to-reach vulnerabilities than other vulnerability detection tools for our benchmark.
2018-03-26
Aslan, Ö, Samet, R..  2017.  Mitigating Cyber Security Attacks by Being Aware of Vulnerabilities and Bugs. 2017 International Conference on Cyberworlds (CW). :222–225.

Because the Internet makes human lives easier, many devices are connected to the Internet daily. The private data of individuals and large companies, including health-related data, user bank accounts, and military and manufacturing data, are increasingly accessible via the Internet. Because almost all data is now accessible through the Internet, protecting these valuable assets has become a major concern. The goal of cyber security is to protect such assets from unauthorized use. Attackers use automated tools and manual techniques to penetrate systems by exploiting existing vulnerabilities and software bugs. To provide good enough security; attack methodologies, vulnerability concepts and defence strategies should be thoroughly investigated. The main purpose of this study is to show that the patches released for existing vulnerabilities at the operating system (OS) level and in software programs does not completely prevent cyber-attack. Instead, producing specific patches for each company and fixing software bugs by being aware of the software running on each specific system can provide a better result. This study also demonstrates that firewalls, antivirus software, Windows Defender and other prevention techniques are not sufficient to prevent attacks. Instead, this study examines different aspects of penetration testing to determine vulnerable applications and hosts using the Nmap and Metasploit frameworks. For a test case, a virtualized system is used that includes different versions of Windows and Linux OS.

2018-02-21
Bojanova, I., Black, P. E., Yesha, Y..  2017.  Cryptography classes in bugs framework (BF): Encryption bugs (ENC), verification bugs (VRF), and key management bugs (KMN). 2017 IEEE 28th Annual Software Technology Conference (STC). :1–8.

Accurate, precise, and unambiguous definitions of software weaknesses (bugs) and clear descriptions of software vulnerabilities are vital for building the foundations of cybersecurity. The Bugs Framework (BF) comprises rigorous definitions and (static) attributes of bug classes, along with their related dynamic properties, such as proximate, secondary and tertiary causes, consequences, and sites. This paper presents an overview of previously developed BF classes and the new cryptography related classes: Encryption Bugs (ENC), Verification Bugs (VRF), and Key Management Bugs (KMN). We analyze corresponding vulnerabilities and provide their clear descriptions by applying the BF taxonomy. We also discuss the lessons learned and share our plans for expanding BF.

2018-02-02
Santos, J. C. S., Tarrit, K., Mirakhorli, M..  2017.  A Catalog of Security Architecture Weaknesses. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture Workshops (ICSAW). :220–223.

Secure by design is an approach to developing secure software systems from the ground up. In such approach, the alternate security tactics are first thought, among them, the best are selected and enforced by the architecture design, and then used as guiding principles for developers. Thus, design flaws in the architecture of a software system mean that successful attacks could result in enormous consequences. Therefore, secure by design shifts the main focus of software assurance from finding security bugs to identifying architectural flaws in the design. Current research in software security has been neglecting vulnerabilities which are caused by flaws in a software architecture design and/or deteriorations of the implementation of the architectural decisions. In this paper, we present the concept of Common Architectural Weakness Enumeration (CAWE), a catalog which enumerates common types of vulnerabilities rooted in the architecture of a software and provides mitigation techniques to address them. The CAWE catalog organizes the architectural flaws according to known security tactics. We developed an interactive web-based solution which helps designers and developers explore this catalog based on architectural choices made in their project. CAWE catalog contains 224 weaknesses related to security architecture. Through this catalog, we aim to promote the awareness of security architectural flaws and stimulate the security design thinking of developers, software engineers, and architects.

Tramèr, F., Atlidakis, V., Geambasu, R., Hsu, D., Hubaux, J. P., Humbert, M., Juels, A., Lin, H..  2017.  FairTest: Discovering Unwarranted Associations in Data-Driven Applications. 2017 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :401–416.

In a world where traditional notions of privacy are increasingly challenged by the myriad companies that collect and analyze our data, it is important that decision-making entities are held accountable for unfair treatments arising from irresponsible data usage. Unfortunately, a lack of appropriate methodologies and tools means that even identifying unfair or discriminatory effects can be a challenge in practice. We introduce the unwarranted associations (UA) framework, a principled methodology for the discovery of unfair, discriminatory, or offensive user treatment in data-driven applications. The UA framework unifies and rationalizes a number of prior attempts at formalizing algorithmic fairness. It uniquely combines multiple investigative primitives and fairness metrics with broad applicability, granular exploration of unfair treatment in user subgroups, and incorporation of natural notions of utility that may account for observed disparities. We instantiate the UA framework in FairTest, the first comprehensive tool that helps developers check data-driven applications for unfair user treatment. It enables scalable and statistically rigorous investigation of associations between application outcomes (such as prices or premiums) and sensitive user attributes (such as race or gender). Furthermore, FairTest provides debugging capabilities that let programmers rule out potential confounders for observed unfair effects. We report on use of FairTest to investigate and in some cases address disparate impact, offensive labeling, and uneven rates of algorithmic error in four data-driven applications. As examples, our results reveal subtle biases against older populations in the distribution of error in a predictive health application and offensive racial labeling in an image tagger.

Rotella, P., Chulani, S..  2017.  Predicting Release Reliability. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security Companion (QRS-C). :39–46.

Customers need to know how reliable a new release is, and whether or not the new release has substantially different, either better or worse, reliability than the one currently in production. Customers are demanding quantitative evidence, based on pre-release metrics, to help them decide whether or not to upgrade (and thereby offer new features and capabilities to their customers). Finding ways to estimate future reliability performance is not easy - we have evaluated many prerelease development and test metrics in search of reliability predictors that are sufficiently accurate and also apply to a broad range of software products. This paper describes a successful model that has resulted from these efforts, and also presents both a functional extension and a further conceptual simplification of the extended model that enables us to better communicate key release information to internal stakeholders and customers, without sacrificing predictive accuracy or generalizability. Work remains to be done, but the results of the original model, the extended model, and the simplified version are encouraging and are currently being applied across a range of products and releases. To evaluate whether or not these early predictions are accurate, and also to compare releases that are available to customers, we use a field software reliability assessment mechanism that incorporates two types of customer experience metrics: field bug encounters normalized by usage, and field bug counts, also normalized by usage. Our 'release-overrelease' strategy combines the 'maturity assessment' component (i.e., estimating reliability prior to release to the field) and the 'reliability assessment' component (i.e., gauging actual reliability after release to the field). This overall approach enables us to both predict reliability and compare reliability results for recent releases for a product.

2018-01-10
Zhang, S., Jia, X., Zhang, W..  2017.  Towards comprehensive protection for OpenFlow controllers. 2017 19th Asia-Pacific Network Operations and Management Symposium (APNOMS). :82–87.

OpenFlow has recently emerged as a powerful paradigm to help build dynamic, adaptive and agile networks. By decoupling control plane from data plane, OpenFlow allows network operators to program a centralized intelligence, OpenFlow controller, to manage network-wide traffic flows to meet the changing needs. However, from the security's point of view, a buggy or even malicious controller could compromise the control logic, and then the entire network. Even worse, the recent attack Stuxnet on industrial control systems also indicates the similar, severe threat to OpenFlow controllers from the commercial operating systems they are running on. In this paper, we comprehensively studied the attack vectors against the OpenFlow critical component, controller, and proposed a cross layer diversity approach that enables OpenFlow controllers to detect attacks, corruptions, failures, and then automatically continue correct execution. Case studies demonstrate that our approach can protect OpenFlow controllers from threats coming from compromised operating systems and themselves.

2017-12-28
Cheng, X., Zhou, M., Song, X., Gu, M., Sun, J..  2017.  IntPTI: Automatic integer error repair with proper-type inference. 2017 32nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE). :996–1001.

Integer errors in C/C++ are caused by arithmetic operations yielding results which are unrepresentable in certain type. They can lead to serious safety and security issues. Due to the complicated semantics of C/C++ integers, integer errors are widely harbored in real-world programs and it is error-prone to repair them even for experts. An automatic tool is desired to 1) automatically generate fixes which assist developers to correct the buggy code, and 2) provide sufficient hints to help developers review the generated fixes and better understand integer types in C/C++. In this paper, we present a tool IntPTI that implements the desired functionalities for C programs. IntPTI infers appropriate types for variables and expressions to eliminate representation issues, and then utilizes the derived types with fix patterns codified from the successful human-written patches. IntPTI provides a user-friendly web interface which allows users to review and manage the fixes. We evaluate IntPTI on 7 real-world projects and the results show its competitive repair accuracy and its scalability on large code bases. The demo video for IntPTI is available at: https://youtu.be/9Tgd4A\_FgZM.

Vizarreta, P., Heegaard, P., Helvik, B., Kellerer, W., Machuca, C. M..  2017.  Characterization of failure dynamics in SDN controllers. 2017 9th International Workshop on Resilient Networks Design and Modeling (RNDM). :1–7.

With Software Defined Networking (SDN) the control plane logic of forwarding devices, switches and routers, is extracted and moved to an entity called SDN controller, which acts as a broker between the network applications and physical network infrastructure. Failures of the SDN controller inhibit the network ability to respond to new application requests and react to events coming from the physical network. Despite of the huge impact that a controller has on the network performance as a whole, a comprehensive study on its failure dynamics is still missing in the state of the art literature. The goal of this paper is to analyse, model and evaluate the impact that different controller failure modes have on its availability. A model in the formalism of Stochastic Activity Networks (SAN) is proposed and applied to a case study of a hypothetical controller based on commercial controller implementations. In case study we show how the proposed model can be used to estimate the controller steady state availability, quantify the impact of different failure modes on controller outages, as well as the effects of software ageing, and impact of software reliability growth on the transient behaviour.

2017-09-06
C. Theisen, K. Herzig, B. Murphy, L. Williams.  2017.  Risk-based attack surface approximation: how much data is enough? 2017 IEEE/ACM 39th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice Track (ICSE-SEIP). :273-282.

Proactive security reviews and test efforts are a necessary component of the software development lifecycle. Resource limitations often preclude reviewing the entire code base. Making informed decisions on what code to review can improve a team's ability to find and remove vulnerabilities. Risk-based attack surface approximation (RASA) is a technique that uses crash dump stack traces to predict what code may contain exploitable vulnerabilities. The goal of this research is to help software development teams prioritize security efforts by the efficient development of a risk-based attack surface approximation. We explore the use of RASA using Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Windows stack traces from crash dumps. We create RASA at the file level for Firefox, in which the 15.8% of the files that were part of the approximation contained 73.6% of the vulnerabilities seen for the product. We also explore the effect of random sampling of crashes on the approximation, as it may be impractical for organizations to store and process every crash received. We find that 10-fold random sampling of crashes at a rate of 10% resulted in 3% less vulnerabilities identified than using the entire set of stack traces for Mozilla Firefox. Sampling crashes in Windows 8.1 at a rate of 40% resulted in insignificant differences in vulnerability and file coverage as compared to a rate of 100%.