CollAFL: Path Sensitive Fuzzing

IEEE Security & Privacy 2018, download

Shuitao Gan , Chao Zhang , Xiaojun Qin , Xuwen Tu , Kang Li , Zhongyu Pei , Zuoning Chen .


Coverage-guided fuzzing is a widely used and effective solution to find software vulnerabilities. Tracking code coverage and utilizing it to guide fuzzing are crucial to coverage- guided fuzzers. However, tracking full and accurate path coverage is infeasible in practice due to the high instrumentation overhead. Popular fuzzers (e.g., AFL) often use coarse coverage information, e.g., edge hit counts stored in a compact bitmap, to achieve highly efficient greybox testing. Such inaccuracy and incompleteness in coverage introduce serious limitations to fuzzers. First, it causes path collisions, which prevent fuzzers from discovering potential paths that lead to new crashes. More importantly, it prevents fuzzers from making wise decisions on fuzzing strategies.

In this paper, we propose a coverage sensitive fuzzing solution CollAFL. It mitigates path collisions by providing more accurate coverage information, while still preserving low instrumentation overhead. It also utilizes the coverage information to apply three new fuzzing strategies, promoting the speed of discovering new paths and vulnerabilities. We implemented a prototype of CollAFL based on the popular fuzzer AFL and evaluated it on 24 popular applications. The results showed that path collisions are common, i.e., up to 75% of edges could collide with others in some applications, and CollAFL could reduce the edge collision ratio to nearly zero. Moreover, armed with the three fuzzing strategies, CollAFL outperforms AFL in terms of both code coverage and vulnerability discovery. On average, CollAFL covered 20% more program paths, found 320% more unique crashes and 260% more bugs than AFL in 200 hours. In total, CollAFL found 157 new security bugs with 95 new CVEs assigned.