On the Emulation of Vulnerabilities through Software Fault Injection



Security vulnerabilities in system software are a major concern, especially when the software is highly exposed.
This paper studies whether it is possible to emulate security
vulnerabilities through software fault injection by using well
known emulation operators. Emulating security vulnerabilities
in the C programming language, in a realistic way using
field data, is an unanswered research question, although most
systems software is written in C. We analyzed publicly known
vulnerabilities from the Xen, Linux, and Apache projects, and
mapped those vulnerabilities onto combinations of software fault operators. The results show that most vulnerabilities require operators that are not in the set of frequent software faults.
Furthermore, a fairly high number of vulnerabilities consists of
a combination of two or three software faults that may cause
combinatorial explosion. The implication of these observations
for practice is that software fault injection, based on the most
frequent software faults, has limited ability to emulate software


Dependability; Security; Software Vulnerabilities; Verification


Vulnerability Injection, Software Fault Injection, Emulation of Vulnerabilities

Related Project

EUBra-BIGSEA: Europe – Brazil Collaboration of BIG Data Scientific Research through Cloud-Centric Applications


European Dependable Computing Conferece (EDCC), September 2017

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