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Title: Semantics, analysis and security of backtracking regular expression matchers
Author: Rathnayake, Asiri
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 4826
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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Regular expressions are ubiquitous in computer science. Originally defined by Kleene in 1956, they have become a staple of the computer science undergraduate curriculum. Practical applications of regular expressions are numerous, ranging from compiler construction through smart text editors to network intrusion detection systems. Despite having been vigorously studied and formalized in many ways, recent practical implementations of regular expressions have drawn criticism for their use of a non-standard backtracking algorithm. In this research, we investigate the reasons for this deviation and develop a semantics view of regular expressions that formalizes the backtracking paradigm. In the process we discover a novel static analysis capable of detecting exponential runtime vulnerabilities; an extremely undesired reality of backtracking regular expression matchers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Birmingham, School of Computer Science
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science