ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security | VOL. 25
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HotFuzz: Discovering Temporal and Spatial Denial-of-Service Vulnerabilities Through Guided Micro-Fuzzing

Publication Date Nov 30, 2022

Abstract

Fuzz testing repeatedly assails software with random inputs in order to trigger unexpected program behaviors, such as crashes or timeouts, and has historically revealed serious security vulnerabilities. In this article, we present HotFuzz, a framework for automatically discovering Algorithmic Complexity (AC) time and space vulnerabilities in Java libraries. HotFuzz uses micro-fuzzing, a genetic algorithm that evolves arbitrary Java objects in order to trigger the worst-case performance for a method under test. We define Small Recursive Instantiation (SRI) as a technique to derive seed inputs represented as Java objects to micro-fuzzing. After micro-fuzzing, HotFuzz synthesizes test cases that triggered AC vulnerabilities into Java programs and monitors their execution in order to reproduce vulnerabilities outside the fuzzing framework. HotFuzz outputs those programs that exhibit high resource utilization as witnesses for AC vulnerabilities in a Java library. We evaluate HotFuzz over the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), the 100 most popular Java libraries on Maven, and challenges contained in the DARPA Space and Time Analysis for Cybersecurity (STAC) program. We evaluate SRI’s effectiveness by comparing the performance of micro-fuzzing with SRI, measured by the number of AC vulnerabilities detected, to simply using empty values as seed inputs. In this evaluation, we verified known AC vulnerabilities, discovered previously unknown AC vulnerabilities that we responsibly reported to vendors, and received confirmation from both IB...

Concepts

Algorithmic Complexity Java Libraries Java Runtime Environment Java Objects Real-world Software Execution In Order Random Inputs Java Programs Security Vulnerabilities Spatial Domains

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