Visible to the public A Heuristic Framework to Detect Concurrency Vulnerabilities

TitleA Heuristic Framework to Detect Concurrency Vulnerabilities
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLiu, Changming, Zou, Deqing, Luo, Peng, Zhu, Bin B., Jin, Hai
Conference NameProceedings of the 34th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference
PublisherACM
ISBN Number978-1-4503-6569-7
KeywordsConcurrency Vulnerabilities, fuzzing test, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, Scalability, Security Heuristics, Thread Schedule
Abstract

With a growing demand of concurrent software to exploit multi-core hardware capability, concurrency vulnerabilities have become an inevitable threat to the security of today's IT industry. Existing concurrent program detection schemes focus mainly on detecting concurrency errors such as data races, atomicity violation, etc., with little attention paid to detect concurrency vulnerabilities that may be exploited to infringe security. In this paper, we propose a heuristic framework that combines both static analysis and fuzz testing to detect targeted concurrency vulnerabilities such as concurrency buffer overflow, double free, and use-after-free. The static analysis locates sensitive concurrent operations in a concurrent program, categorizes each finding into a potential type of concurrency vulnerability, and determines the execution order of the sensitive operations in each finding that would trigger the suspected concurrency vulnerability. The results are then plugged into the fuzzer with the execution order fixed by the static analysis in order to trigger the suspected concurrency vulnerabilities. In order to introduce more variance which increases possibility that the concurrency errors can be triggered, we also propose manipulation of thread scheduling priority to enable a fuzzer such as AFL to effectively explore thread interleavings in testing a concurrent program. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first fuzzer that is capable of effectively exploring concurrency errors. In evaluating the proposed heuristic framework with a benchmark suit of six real-world concurrent C programs, the framework detected two concurrency vulnerabilities for the proposed concurrency vulnerability detection, both being confirmed to be true positives, and produced three new crashes for the proposed interleaving exploring fuzzer that existing fuzzers could not produce. These results demonstrate the power and effectiveness of the proposed heuristic framework in detecting concurrency errors and vulnerabilities.

URLhttps://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3274694.3274718
DOI10.1145/3274694.3274718
Citation Keyliu_heuristic_2018