Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: SymbexNet : checking network protocol implementations using symbolic execution
Author: Song, JaeSeung
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 0773
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The implementations of network protocols, such as DNS, DHCP and Zeroconf, are prone to flaws, security vulnerabilities and interoperability issues caused by ambiguous requirements in protocol specifications. Detecting such problems is not easy because (i) many bugs manifest themselves only after prolonged operation; (ii) the state space of complex protocol implementations is large; and (iii) problems often require additional information about correct behaviour from specifications. This thesis presents a novel approach to detect various types of flaws in network protocol implementations by combining symbolic execution and rule-based packet matching. The core idea behind our approach is to generate automatically high-coverage test input packets for a network protocol implementation. For this, the protocol implementation is run using a symbolic execution engine to obtain test input packets. These packets are then used to detect potential violations of rules that constrain permitted input and output packets and were derived from the protocol specification. We propose a technique that repeatedly performs symbolic execution on selected test input packets to achieve broad and deep exploration of the implementation state space. In addition, we use the generated test packets to check interoperability between different implementations of the same network protocol. We present a system based on these techniques, SYMBEXNET, and show that it can automatically generate test input packets that achieve high source code coverage and discover various bugs. We evaluate SYMBEXNET on multiple implementations of two network protocols: Zeroconf, a service discovery protocol, and DHCP, a network configuration protocol. SYMBEXNET is able to discover non-trivial bugs as well as interoperability problems, most of which have been confirmed by the developers.
Supervisor: Pietzuch, Peter ; Leung, Kin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral